Psalm 19 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 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.

I absolutely love this Psalm.  You are led to look up into the Heavens to see God and His handiwork.  What a beautiful way to prepare and humble the heart. God’s handiwork reminds us just who we are.  We are a speck in the vastness of it all!  The Psalmist continues and reveals God’s Word, His statues, His love, His mercy, His Son, His salvation, and His goodness! He then leads us to look inward to our sin. After reading this psalm, the heart has been prepared and is ready to be molded into His likeness.

Every area of life revolves around what is acceptable. Just what is acceptable to God? David wanted the words of his mouth and what laid deep within his heart to be acceptable to God! Deep in the dark corners of the heart lies the truth – nothing can be hidden from God. It is there that reveals whether or not one’s heart is “right with Him.” Yes, our salvation is settled because Christ paid the horrible price of punishment for us. However, are we acceptable to God in our words, whether spoken or unspoken, and our deeds? What is in the heart will come out of the mouth (Matthew 12:34). Therefore, what do we have to offer to God that is acceptable?

~Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

We can offer God us!  When we submit ourselves in every way to the Lord, including all that we do and say, we present ourselves a “living” sacrifice to Him. Paul says this is our “reasonable” service! It is the least we should do for God. After all He has done for us, all we can give Him is a yielded and willing spirit.  Our living sacrifice to God can only be achieved if we are yielded to His Holy Spirit. The Lord reveals to us and convicts us of sin.  We then, in turn, submit to Him and forsake that sin. David spoke of those secret faults. There are things in life that we hide.  There are even things in life that we don’t know about yet and the Lord wants to clean that up.

As the heart is convicted, accepting that conviction with a repentant attitude, take on the image of Christ. Granted, we can’t ever be perfect, but we can now be used of God!

~Proverbs 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

Pro_10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

A living sacrifice … that’s what I want to be for you, Lord! Yielded, ready to respond to Your prompting and conviction, and living!

Psalm 6 To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. 1 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. 3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long? 4 Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? 6 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. 7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. 8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. 9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. 10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Today’s reading is not only heartwrenching to me but what a beautiful depiction of repentant sinner! This Psalm was written when David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband, Uriah, killed! At this point in time, Bathsheba had given birth to the baby but the baby had yet to die. The text reveals a repentant David who is praying and seeking forgiveness. Another beautiful passage with this same theme is Psalm 51.

I picture David on his knees pleading with God to forgive him! I see him crying and torn before his God and pleading to Him to save his son, even if there is the smallest possibility! I know that his son was not spared, yet David accepted God’s judgment and continued on. David truly repented of his sins and turned his life around.

I have been there right along with David. My sins have been forgiven but they also brought repercussions that will never go away. This is not the result of a merciless God, by all means. These repercussions are a result of my own rebellion and my own sins. God has forgiven me indeed but my sins have brought about an outcome that I cannot change.

Christian, are you wandering today? Maybe you are a woman who, like Bathsheba, has been unfaithful and is now expecting a baby. God has forgiven you but your baby will be a constant reminder of your sin. How about the believer who use to be a thief prior to salvation and in a moment of weakness steals again after salvation? If you are caught, you will suffer the legal ramifications and possibly have a criminal record. That record will follow you all your life and will affect your ability to get loans, jobs, etc. Repentance is a must but the repercussions of your sin will continue. There’s no difference between David’s situation in today’s text and yours.

I know that my God stands ready to forgive me – He wants to forgive me! However, when I lead my life according to my own worldly desires, I will suffer the consequences as a result. God’s mercy comes shining through when one recognizes His judgment! How can one experience mercy if one doesn’t realize God’s judgment? There is a price to pay for sin for the believer. Yes, our sins are forgiven in a split second and remembered no more. But the results of a moment’s pleasure and weakness may last a lifetime.

Are you wayward today? Have you wandered far from God? Follow David’s footsteps and call on God for forgiveness and restore your fellowship with Him!

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Discouragement has a way of overwhelming the mind and heart, doesn’t it? If one more trial or mishap comes into my life today, I just don’t think I could bear it! My shoulders begin to droop from the weight of it all. My heart is so heavy and tears are just waiting to spill over my lower eyelids at the next cross word that comes my way. Who in their right mind can enjoy living in this state? Surely when we step back and look at it in this light, we would conclude that no one would. So then why do we insist on remaining in this state of discouragement?

Oh how wonderful to be able to leave our trials behind and hit the road in search of a babbling brook nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Oh the peace that can be found as we sit on a rock by the brook and listen to the cardinals singing, the rustling of the leaves as the gentle breeze blows, and feeling the sunshine on our faces! What a sanctuary the Lord has given us in His beautiful creation. OK, so we can’t just up and leave and travel to our sanctuary. But the Word says that we can visit that Rock whenever we want – and at that Rock, we will find the sanctuary which will provide us with an even better benefit as that getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

David pleads to God to lead him to the rock that is higher than he is in Psalm 61:2. What rock?

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for this verse in Your Holy Word! Jesus promises to refresh us with living water! He is our Source for refreshing our discouraged heart! We can run to that mountain stream and sit on that rock any time we want by turning to His Word and talking to Him! His promises are ever before us in His Word, but we must do the seeking, my friend. You cannot be force fed.

~Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

 

We hear this all the time from those “fundamentalists,” but is it true? Forget what man says … it’s more important what God says in the Bible. Here’s what the God’s Word tells us about salvation:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

There is no other! It’s not through going to church, not through any other “god” or prophet, not through doing good works – only through Jesus Christ and the work that HE did on the cross. This is not a popular message in the world’s agenda of “tolerance”! But what matters most is not what the world says – it matters what God says. If anyone is the least bit interested, the Bible is the source of all the answers of life here and life everlasting!

~Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Like the Sermon on the Mount where Christ gave us the Beatitudes, this verse begins with “Blessed is.” Whenever I see these words, I pay attention. I want God’s blessings, don’t you? Today’s verse encourages us to trust in the Lord. Furthermore, in so doing we shall be blessed.

I realize that this is easier said than done – especially when a believer is going through an extremely difficult trial. However, when we trust the Lord during our trials, we are not busy worrying. Trusting God is an action of the heart. We acknowledge that the trial is beyond our control and not one ounce of effort on our part is going to change things. Once we relinquish our worries and leave the unknown to God, peace follows.

God promises to direct us no matter how complicated or impossible our trial seems to be. With this, He provides this wonderful peace that goes beyond comprehension. The believer no longer has to struggle with life but has the Creator at His side directing him along the way. The Master fulfills the well-known Proverb and provides His child with comfort and peace.

No matter how difficult life gets, and it will get harder, we know that our God walks alongside us. As the wonderful piece “Footprints” points out, there are even times when He carries us due to our weariness. We must build on this trust after each trial. We must look back at the previous trials and see God’s hand at work in our lives. When we do this, we can see just what He brought us through. This reflection will build our trust in Him.

To the young believer, I encourage you to make these two verses your life’s verse. As daily problems and trials come your way, apply these verses. Repeat them and ask the Lord to guide you. Pour out your heart to Him and tell Him that you don’t understand and you don’t know what to do. God will provide peace in the midst of the storm. The more the young believer applies these verses to his life, the more he will turn to the Lord immediately with all his burdens and trials!

~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.

~1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I was recently discussing God’s wondrous creation with a blogging friend.  I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Alaska and was able to tour this beautiful land.  Each moment was spent gazing at God’s handiwork.  The ultimate Artist painted vistas that a mere camera could not capture!  My eyes filled with tears when I beheld the majesty of Mt. McKinley, North America’s tallest mountain!  Again, I wept when I saw my first bald eagle nestled in the tree top.  I was then filled with awe when I witnessed a baby humpback whale playfully demonstrating its strength and gracefulness for almost half an hour in front of our boat.

As a child of the Creator, I appreciate God’s handiwork and give Him the glory and the praise!  Our Heavenly Father has blessed us by giving us such beauty to behold each day.  When we see this beauty, it is our opportunity to glorify Him and praise Him for His wondrous love for us!

However, to the unbeliever,  God’s creation will convict their unbelief.  The Bible states that the unbeliever will be without excuse when they stand before Him and claim that they “didn’t know God existed.”

~Romans 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Just gazing at a sky filled with starts will cause the heart to wonder.  I like Ray Comfort’s statement to atheists:

Everything cannot come from nothing!

God honors a soul that sees creation and wonders if there is a God.  Romans 1:20 tells us that mankind is without excuse because nature itself speaks of Him.  Therefore, God will see to it that this soul has the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When the unbeliever chooses not to believe in God, he is accountable for disregarding even nature, God’s creation. What will the unbeliever say when he stands before Christ?

~Romans 14:10b  …for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 

The Psalmist had a special relationship with his God.  It seems that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would hear him when he cried out to Him.

~Psalm 3:4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

Can you say this of your relationship with God? Do you absolutely know for certain that God is hearing you when you cry? If you cannot, then you are practicing religion rather than nurturing a relationship with your Heavenly Father. Think on this for a bit. A child never questions whether his father hears his cries.  So stop and meditate on your relationship with God.  Do you have one? If not, I suggest you read the Gospel of John through three times. Then continue reading the rest of the Gospels. You will soon see what Jesus was all about! Pray and ask the Father for help as you seek to grow closer to Him!

~Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

We know that God hears everything – He even knows what we are thinking!

~Psalm 94:9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

There is nothing that gets by Him. We can’t slide something passed Him so let’s not deceive ourselves. But how many times have we heard that God doesn’t seem to hear our prayers? Could it be that we have allowed sin to separate us from Him? When your child is continuously disobedient, does he get everything he wants from you? Why should it be any different with God? It’s not that God doesn’t hear our prayers, it is because we have not been meeting the criteria for answered prayer. The Word says:

~John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Ouch! So what’s our excuse? Are we praying with selfish motives? Are we praying but yet still clinging on to sin in our lives? Just as our earthly parents won’t reward us when we’re defiant, neither will our Heavenly Father. Our earthly family can be used as a good learning tool when it comes to the born-again believer’s relationship with God.

~John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

It is not God’s will for us to go to hell. That is not His desire for us. Our salvation is our choice. We either believe in Jesus Christ, accept that we are sinners and that He is the only way to Heaven or we don’t. (Acts 4:10-12)

~John 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I see the world’s viewpoint of Christ in several ways:

1. They truly accept Christ’s work on the cross for their sin and are truly born again.
2. They have “believed” in Jesus Christ (but not repented) because they are religious and that is how they have been taught all their lives.
3. They have heard about Jesus Christ but they really don’t care one way or another.
4. They have heard about Christ but they hate all that He stands for.
5. They have never heard of Jesus Christ – ever!

The Bible says that if one does not believe in Jesus Christ, he is condemned already. (John 3:18) This is not an act from God but a free-will act by man. Man chooses not to believe in Christ and man chooses not to repent and turn from his wicked way. God will not force Himself upon anyone. He has provided a way for man to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. However, if a person chooses to go his own way and does not want Jesus Christ as part of his daily life, then that is his choice – not God’s choice.

~Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Believing unto righteousness is quite different from just “knowing.” I was raised Roman Catholic but I did not believe in Jesus Christ unto righteousness – I didn’t turn from my wicked way and REPENT (Acts 20:21). I knew about Christ but I did not believe unto righteousness. Had I done so, I would have been born-again (John 3:3) – I would have changed (2 Corinthians 5:17) – my desires would be focused on learning about Christ and living my life for Him (2 Timothy 2:15). Christ’s righteousness is upon the believer after salvation.  There is definitely a difference between playing church and being truly born again. I played church before I was saved – I taught Catholic catechism – I deceived those around me but knew in my heart that I was not the person I pretended to be. The heart is very different after salvation. That is the heart that believes unto righteousness.

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees when they were trying to trick Him:

~Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

The Pharisees saw with their own eyes how publicans and harlots believed and followed after righteousness when they heard John the Baptist preach. Yet, even after seeing the changes in these people, the Pharisees did not repent nor did they believe. It was their choice. If you have been around true born-again believers, you have seen a difference in their lives. You probably secretly desire what they have. But you’re afraid to take that step. You’re afraid of what your family will think. You’re afraid of what your spouse will say. But none of these will stand with you when you die and you are standing before Christ. Try explaining to Jesus why you weren’t born again. The excuse of “being afraid of your family” will not cut it. No excuse will be accepted by God on Judgment Day for those who rejected salvation through Christ. None! Sadly, your choice will cost you Heaven! Your choice will damn you for all eternity.

It is the will of God that saves, it is the will of man that damns.
Charles H. Spurgeon

~Jeremiah 5:26-27a For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit:

How can a Christian prevent himself from getting into a situation where he is trapped by wicked men? A believer who reads the Bible and communes with the Lord will be led by His Holy Spirit along life’s path.

~Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Christ tried to warn His disciples that they would be dealing with wolves. He also exhorted them to be wise in their dealings. The Scripture says that one who is saved and has a good understanding of the word of God will have wisdom.

~Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

We will be able to spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We will be able to discern deceitful men. If you struggle in being a good judge of character, get in the Word and ask the Lord to fill you with its wisdom! However, today, people are more interested in listening to “feel good” preachers than to search the Scriptures for themselves. They are truly “sheeple”! We must be careful to whom we lend our ears.

“When a man gives himself up to a deceitful heart he gets to be a destroyer of others. Not content with being lost themselves, they become the servants of Satan to destroy others. A man catcher sets traps to catch men, aiming to pervert, to corrupt, to mislead, to be guile. Such fiends in human form have surely reached the last stage of corruption when they not only sin themselves, but are the creators of sin in others.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

~Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

What are you living by? Are you following someone’s teachings? Are you making up your own mind? Are you leaving spiritual matters to others? God tells us to live by His Word, therefore, we must have His Word in existence today or He would be asking us to do the impossible.

Religions of today would have you believe that if you follow them, they will provide joy. So is that working for you? Are you at peace? Do you have joy? I won’t preach to you. I merely ask you to read the Bible. This is where truth, joy and peace can be found. Don’t you want that right now? Where should you start? Start in the Book of John. I challenge you to read it through three times. In the mean time, I will be praying that you will find what I have found.

~Psalm 94:8-9 Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

Do you truly believe that God does pay attention to the little things we do in life and hear the words spoken in secret?  The same God who created us is the same one who hears everything and sees everything.  There is nothing hidden from the Lord.

This is an encouragement to the born-again believer to live righteously.  This is an exhortation to the unbeliever to seek after God and not be foolish. Don’t delay!  No one knows when his last day on this earth will be.  Seek the truth in the Bible – read the Gospel of John through three times.  All the answers of life are contained in its pages.

~Proverb 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

~Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

This is a popular verse to show God’s patience with mankind.  Yes, He surely is patient for if He weren’t, I would surely be dead today.  But there is so much more to this verse, my friends.  The first part of the verse is the actual meat of this verse.  God instructs us to do something and then He will do something in return.

The Jews would tear their clothing as a sign of great grieving, distress and sorrow.  I read Joel 2:13 and I see that God wants us to go to this drastic measure with our hearts.  How convicting is this?  How truly sorrowful are we when we sin?  Do we grieve with intensity over hurting our Heavenly Father?  Are we distressed at what we have done?  Do we have honest sorrow in our hearts for our wickedness?  Yes, the born-again believer is blood bought and is saved from eternal damnation because of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.  But when we sin after salvation, our conviction should be intense!  This is what I believe the Lord is trying to tell us today.

As we glean from this verse in Joel today, let’s present our sins to God in the same manner.  Let’s look at sin the way our Heavenly Father looks at it – vile and despicable.

~Isaiah 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Isaiah brought this out.  Our sinfulness is so unclean that even the “good” things we do are looked upon as filthy rags in God’s eyes.  Strong’s defines the Hebrew word for “filthy” in this verse as:

H5708
עד
‛êd
ayd
From an unused root meaning to set a period (compare H5710 and H5749); the menstrual flux (as periodical); by implication (in plural) soiling: – filthy.

When a filthy rag is compared to this definition, it puts our sin into perspective and gives us a glimpse of God’s view of it.

As of today, let’s look at our sinfulness in a new light.  When we see sin as God sees sin, it helps us to glean from Joel’s words.  We must figuratively rend our hearts (tear our hearts) and be truly sorrowful for sinning against God.  When we prepare our hearts in this manner, we become truly repentant and are able to draw nigh to our God!  It is then that we see that He is:

…gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

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~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Life’s lessons can be tough ones. To the believer, these lessons can be viewed in two ways:

  1. We accept the trial and learn what God intends for us to learn from it.
  2. We refuse to accept what God wants us to learn.

Either way, there is a lesson to be learned from the Master with each trial. Even if God’s instruction is not specific, He has taught us to depend on Him! All lessons from the Father dealing with character building are for your benefit. These lessons are all to lead you down a righteous path. Never would God lead you down a path of destruction. It is your own sinful flesh that leads us the wrong way.

If you are the type of believer who accepts your trial and looks to God for answers, you are admitting we need His help. That’s the foundation of spiritual growth. Being willing to accept God’s changes for you is the first step spiritual growth. Refusing His help is the sin of pride – you believe you can do it ourselves. There’s no peace in that.

If things are falling apart in your life, then why continue down that path? How is that going for you? Is your way bringing you total peace? Chances are, no! But God promises to restore our souls. This is not talking about losing one’s salvation and regaining it. According to Noah Webster, it means:

To revive; to resuscitate; to bring back to life.

God desires to revive us. God desires to resuscitate us. God desires to bring our beaten lives back to life. It is up to us to submit to His will and direction for us. When we allow God to restore, the end result is being led down a path of righteousness, which is always good for us!

There is no growth of character when life is fun and easy. Growth occurs during the hard and difficult times. Vegetation is sparse on the mountain top, but in the valley growth is plentiful. Remember: All sunshine all the time makes a desert.
~Anonymous

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~Psalm 145:14 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

I heard a similar story on the movie, “Love Comes Softly” and it was such a blessing. I searched for the story on-line but couldn’t find a similar one. So I tried to do it justice with my own pen (or blog, if you will).

A father is walking along the forest with his little girl. Even though he was holding her hand, her ankle twisted as they crossed over fallen trees along the pathway. She fell onto the fallen tree and scraped her knee. The father immediately picked up his crying child and held her in his arms until she was calmed. He then took out his little first aid kit from his backpack and cleaned the scrape. The medication he applied stung but his little girl was brave and did not cry.

 

“Daddy,” asked the little girl, “why did you let me slip?”

Her father responded, “Oh sweetheart, I didn’t let you trip. I was holding your hand. It just happened! The important thing is that I was there to pick you up, comfort you and apply ointment on your wound. I will always be there to do that, no matter what kind of falls you have in your life time!”

You may think that God is cruel at times for allowing you to go through some pretty difficult trials.  Inspite of your “falls,” God is right there and promises to hold you, comfort you and apply ointment to your wounds.  All you have to do is allow Him to do so!

If God sees it good to strike with one hand, He will support with the other (Watson, Gleanings , 63).”
Thomas Watson

~Jonah 2:9b … Salvation is of the LORD.

Although many religions teach that one must do good deeds in order to be saved, salvation is given by God, not achieved by anything we can do for ourselves. IF we could do anything to gain entrance to Heaven, then we take away from Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.

What more can the devil do than to take away from Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? The devil can sidetrack man and distract him from the truth which God’s Word teaches.

The Bible says that IF Abraham were justified by his works, the works would bring only Abraham glory before mankind, but not before God.

~Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

But it was Abraham’s faith that counted him righteous! He believed that God would do what He said He would do and Abraham rested on this faith.

~Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Quickly, Paul made sure to mention that the Scriptures were clear and the Scriptures are an excellent teacher.

Paul also made certain to point out that salvation is A GIFT from God given to us because of His endless grace and love for mankind. Again, that word faith is mentioned – just as Abraham’s faith counted as righteousness, so does faith in Christ, the Father’s gift to us, count as our righteousness.

~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Our own works cannot buy righteousness. Anyone who has given a large sum of money to the church can attest to this. You feel “good” for that moment but you’re right back to your sinful ways soon thereafter. None of our actions can earn us entrance into Heaven because then we could boast of our actions! How many “good” people have been in the limelight yet not one of their actions can pave the way to Heaven? If this were possible, then Paul would not have said that Abraham’s works were not justified before God. If anyone should have had his works justified, it would be Abraham – but God does not see it that way.

~Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we receive at the moment of salvation. It is HIS His shed blood, and ONLY His shed blood, that paid for sin’s debt. NOTHING else can pay for sin’s debt. N-O-T-H-I-N-G! That is the only righteousness that will gain us entrance into Heaven. It is Jesus’ blood that covers our sin and, therefore, we are no longer have that burden. It has all been placed on Jesus!

~Romans 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Our sins are forgiven and covered because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness. Our perfect sacrifice happened 2000 years ago and Christ’s death, burial and resurrection are the only works we can count as righteous before a Holy God.

“If your faith is not fixed in Jesus, your best works will be but splendid sins. All the performance of duties will not affect your salvation.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The eternal security of the believer is a much debated topic these days. Some say that believing in such gives one a license to sin. I can understand why they say that – there are many who profess salvation but live like the world. That is not the case, however, for one who is truly born again.

If salvation were based upon what man had to do to earn it, then it would have to also be based upon what man had to do to keep it. The Bible is clear as to what salvation is based upon, and none of them mention man’s works or lack of them as the foundation. So let’s take a look at what the Word says salvation is all about.

It is all about God’s grace, and not at all involving works:

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

 

One sacrifice for sins for all and for eternity:

Hebrews 6:4-6  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,   If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Hebrews 9:22-28  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.    For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:    Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:    So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hebrews 10:12-14  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

A promise from God:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

Not based on our ability to keep it:

2 Timothy 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 4:18  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.

Never spoken as earthly or temporal in God’s Word:

John 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:47  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

Hebrews 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

God’s Word is truth and He cannot lie.  God gave man the promise of eternal salvation based on His grace and based on His Word, which He keeps for all eternity.  Critics of eternal salvation base their beliefs on man’s ability.  But the one thing we are certain of with man is his ability to  continue in sin no matter how many laws there are to keep man moral.  Our Country and State laws ought to be full proof of that statement! The more laws that are made, the more that are broken.

But what critics don’t “get” is that Christ died while we were yet sinners – He knew it was hopeless for us to keep the law.  It is hopeless for us to be “good enough” or to do so many good things that in the end they will outweigh the sins!  That is why salvation is all about what Christ did and nothing about what we have done or need to do.  It is a gift from God.  We cannot give ourselves this gift.

Only God can give us the gift – all we have to do is sincerely accept it and repent from our wicked ways!  That is why there are so many critics of eternal security today.  Too many have said they are born again but their lives do not show it.  Their lives don’t show it because they have not repented of their sins.  The Gospel has landed on rocky ground and thorns instead of a fruitful heart.

“Once in Christ and ever in Christ. A star may sooner fall out of its orb than a true believer be plucked away from God (Watson, Religion Our True Interest, 96).”
Thomas Watson

~Psalm 25:4-5 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Many have told me to find a good preacher and follow him. This is only good if the preacher is following after God’s Word. How’s one to know?

~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God’s Word is important and should be a part of our everyday lives. Christ said that those who love Him will keep His sayings. What sayings? The words that He spoke while on earth would be brought to the disciples minds by the Holy Spirit so they could write it down for us to have throughout the years.

~John 14:24-26 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

~2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Don’t let the words of men deceive you. The Word is Truth and will never deceive you.

~Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

The Word of God is filled with “shall nots,” both in a negative way and in a positive way. The Ten Commandments are the most popular of the “shall nots.” But what about those that speak of God’s provisions?

This verse tells us that the one who seeks the Lord shall not lack any good thing. God’s hand of provision is upon those who seek Him. Just as He cares for the sparrow (Luke 12:6), so much more will He care for us! The times we live in are turbulent and the Word promises it will get much worse. But the Christian has the comfort that God will take care of him!

Our Shepherd, Jehovah-Raah, loves us and cares for us. Nothing shall happen to us that He has not allowed!

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

~Psalm 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Praise the Lord that His work in the born-again believer is never finished! Daily we find ourselves tempted and daily we fail. I am so thankful that God continues to work in my life for my benefit!

~Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The Lord began a good work in me the day I was born-again! He continues to grow good works in me through His Holy Spirit’s convicting power. When I yield to His convictions, I grow spiritually. That is the reason a baby cannot be born-again at baptism as some religions claim. Babies cannot decide for themselves whether or not they will fall into sin. They are born in sin. They cannot choose to do right – not yet. That is why a child must get to the age where he knows the difference between right and wrong. At this point, he is able to understand the need for salvation.

~Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

We’ve all seen babies who cry the minute they are put down for a nap, yet the minute Momma picks the baby up, the baby stops crying. How true Psalm 58:3 is!  But can a baby repent?  Not just yet – he is totally dependent on his parents until he reaches an age where he can see for himself that he is sinning.  Once that child is born-again, then God begins that beautiful work spoken of in Philippians 1:6!

Thank you, Lord, for your continuing work in my life!