Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hymns For Today

I found the following...think about it...

Out of date Hymn
Totally current Hymn

I Surrender All
I Surrender Some

There Shall Be Shower of Blessing
There Shall Be Sprinkles of Blessing

Fill My Cup, Lord
Fill My Spoon Lord

Oh, How I Love Jesus
Oh, How I Like Jesus

He's Everything To Me
He's Quite A Bit To Me

I Love To Tell The Story
I Love To Talk About Telling The Story

Take My Life And Let It Be
Take My Life And Then Let Me Be

It Is No Secret What God Can Do
It Is My Secret What God Can Do

There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today
There Is Scattered Cloudiness In My Soul Today

We Are One In The Spirit
We Are One In The Bond Of Our Denomination

Onward Christian Soldiers
Onward Christian Reserves

Where He Leads Me I Will Follow
Where He Leads Me I Will Consider Following

Just As I Am
Just As I Pretend To Be

Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
Stand Up, Stand Up (But Keep Your Arms Down)

When The Saints Go Marching In
When The Saints Go Sneaking In

And more thought matter...I quote...

The singing of a hymn should be a great experience for Christians. A hymn can be a prayer, a testimony, praise, or an invitation to others. Many of us apparently don't take the words we sing very seriously.

We sing "Sweet Hour of Prayer' and pray only a few minutes each day.
We sing "Onward Christian Soldiers" and wait to be drafted.
We sing "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" and don't use the ones we have to speak for Christ.
We sing "Blest Be the Tie" and let the slightest offense sever it.
We sing "I Love to Tell the Story" and seldom mention Jesus to anybody.
We sing "Serve the Lord with Gladness" and gripe about all we have to do.
We sing "Cast Thy Burden on the Lord" and then worry ourselves into a nervous breakdown.
We sing "The Whole Wide World for Jesus" and never invite our next-door neighbor to church.

>>> Hymns...songs...I love this... <<<

And to add to my last post...look at Job chapters 40-42. Put yourself in Job's shoes for a moment. Are you being a Job? Do you need to stop questioning God's plans?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Discontent? Are You a Jonah?

Two posts in one day! Wow! OK, the other post was within five minutes of being today, but whatever. Smile at someone today! Tell them what God is doing in your life!

A state of discontent breeds a distrust of God. When we are not satisfied with the things we have or the circumstances we are in, we are not trusting God that He knows what He is doing and that His way is better. We want our way--we want our plans--we want our way out of the situation we are in. But, our way doesn't work. God will either let you go on your merry little way until you fall into a pit, get hurt badly, and come running back to Him, or He will chastise you like He did to Jonah and bring you back. And if you go far enough away from Him and do enough damage, He might just kill you. All ways end up back at God eventually, but you get hurt all three ways, and in one case, you even die. It's not worth it. Ask Jonah. Why do you think God put that book in the Bible? So you would learn from history and not make the same mistake Jonah did. Don't make the same mistake as Jonah.

First, when we do not trust God, we are saying, "God, I know better than You do. I'm going to do it my way." We know better than God does? Isn't that putting ourselves above God? Is that not trusting in ourselves? Is that not idolatry?

1 Cor. 10:14 "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."
Jeremiah 17:5 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."
Prov. 29:25 "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."

Whoa. Cursed. God has some pretty strong stuff to say about trusting in man and ignoring Him. Jonah found it out the hard way. Which way will you find out? Are you going to make God carry out one of those three punishments, or are you going to stay on God's side?

The second reaction to not trusting God is to become fearful of your situation. But why fear? God is in control; He always has been and always will be. Man cannot thwart His plans. God commands us, He doesn't suggest, He commands us to not fear. The only one we are to fear is God Himself out of reverence and awe of Him and because He has the power of eternal life and death over us. Jesus Himself said, "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." (Luke 12:5)

1 Chron. 28:20 "And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD."
Joel 2:21 "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things."
1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

Trust in God. He knows best, even when you think He is doing a nutcase job of running your life. Perhaps, just perhaps, when you are thinking that----are you the nutcase? Yep.
Psa 118:8 "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
Psa 146:3 "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."

Be Content. Don't have what you want? Don't get your way? That's right, for the way that seems right to us leads to destruction. Follow God's way, not your own.
Phil. 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Psalm 22:26 "The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever."
Proverbs 12:14 "A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Freedom (Part 1/?) TBA

Freedom is found in obeying God. The Devil tricked Eve into thinking that God was restricting her freedom, when really Eve had all she could ever want. But, no, the was deceived into thinking that there was more freedom. She did get something: death. Sin. Pain. Is that freedom? NO, that is bondage. So, be very careful when you doesn't have happy consequences. As that hymn goes: "Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."
Deut. 11:27 "A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:"
Job 36:12 "But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge."
Proverbs 30:17 "The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."

How is it that the wind and waves obey God, yet we, who are so much smarter than the waves, do not? Isn't that a little ironic?

Freedom also springs for trust. The more people trust you, the more freedom they will give you. Joseph was a trustworthy ruler in Egypt. Therefore, Pharaoh gave permission for his bones to be buried in Canaan.
Gen. 50:6 "And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear."

The longer you work at a job, the more freedom you will be given. For example, my boss and people over me at work trust me. I have the keys to the building and offices. I know the alarm code. I can access the database. I proved my trustworthiness, and I was given freedom. (No, I'm not telling you where I work =P) I'm not bragging, just using me as an example. I have plenty of other problems to deal with of my own. But with freedom comes responsibility. With a car comes the gas prices, the car insurance.
Luke 12:48b For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

We can earn freedom and pursue freedom, but only within God's boundaries. Psalm 31:8"And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room."
God has given us much freedom, but we can only earn it and use it to His glory if we obey Him and trust in Him. Even trusting in God brings us more freedom. When we trust Him more, when we believe He can do anything, we will be able to do so much more for God.
Mat. 19:26 "But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
Mark 10:27 "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Luke 18:27 "And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
Job 42:2 "I know that thou canst do every [thing], and [that] no thought can be withholden from thee."

Christ has made us free. He has given us back the freedom that was taken from us when Adam and Eve sinned. We no longer have to always be worrying about animal sacrifices and coming to God through the priests, but we are free to come directly to the Father through Jesus the Son.
Hbr. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.

1 Corinthians 7
21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

We are servants to God. Our freedom is in our salvation as well as in doing God's will. When we were on our way to hell, under the burden of sin and death, Christ freed us with His sacrifice at Calvary. We are now free to serve Him and not ourselves and the world. Just look at what God will provide for us, if we follow His Word.

Matthew 5
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you , and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so
persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Use the freedom God has given you and He will give you more. Use it all and always for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
1 Peter 2:16 "As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."

I know, that was a little bare-bones, but I don't have much time right now. I may expand on this topic later, but I wanted to get part of it out now, at least. In fact, I do want to expand on a few different areas and also include freedom in this country. It would have been nice to post it today because of Memorial Day, but that's not working out.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven (part 2/5)

OK, maybe not as deep as the last one, but there's still quite a bit to grasp in here. And maybe it would be better if I didn't have the bad cold I have. Oh well.

Praise Him for His grace and favor
To His people in distress.
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Glorious in His faithfulness.

"Praise Him for His grace and favor To His people in distress."
We already went over what praise means. So let's apply it to what we are praising Him for. God's grace and God's favor. What is grace? According to Webster [1913]...
"The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor."

"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." --Rom.11:6

"My grace is sufficicnt for thee." --2 Cor. 12:9
"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." --Rom. 5:20
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." --Rom. 5:2

We deserve to die and suffer eternal punishment for our sins. God's perfectly just nature demands it. But in His Grace, He showed us His mercy and sent Jesus, His Son, the Son of God, to die on the cross for us to atone for our sins. He pardoned us, although we didn't deserve it, and hereby has he showed forth His grace unto us. We should rejoice in His grace and praise Him, for it is by grace we are saved through faith; "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:" (Ephesians 2:8) God also give grace to those who are suffering--God's grace is always sufficient for us to hold to when we go through trials in life and we are in deep distress.

"Praise Him still the same as ever"
James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

God does not change. He is always the same and only all-powerful God.

"Slow to chide, and swift to bless"
Psalm 103:8 "The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy."
Psalm 145:8 "The LORD [is] gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy."
That pretty much covers it. Aren't you glad God doesn't get mad fast!! We'd all be dead by now if He had a quick temper. Bu He chooses to bless us in spite of our sinful selves. What an amazing God we serve!

"Alleluia! Alleluia!"
--has been covered in last post

"Glorious in His faithfulness."
Deut. 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;"
1Cor. 1:9 "God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."
1Thess. 5:24 "Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it]."
Rev 19:11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."
Psalm 111:3 "His work [is] honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever."
Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"

All that God is and does is glorious, and that includes His faithfulness. He is the most faithful one that you will ever know. He is faithful to all generations and His glory is displayed in the Creation as well as in the Christian's life and world events.

God never changes, He is faithful, and will keep us forever. He cannot lie. His attributes are eternal and always present. Praise Ye the Lord!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven (part 1/5)

This will be a series of five posts as I go through each verse of this hymn. This hymn contains a huge amount of theology (no, trust me, it's not dry!) that can be pulled out from it. Here is the first verse:

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

The word "praise" occurs 248 times in the Bible (KJV)
I quote: "The word comes from the Latin pretium, "price," or "value," and may be defined generally as an ascription of value or worth. Praise may be bestowed upon unworthy objects or from improper motives, but true praise consists in a sincere acknowledgment of a real conviction of worth. Its type may be seen in the representation given in the Apocalypse of the adoration of God and of the Lamb, which is inspired by a sense of their worthiness to be adored."

4:11 "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
5:12 "Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."

"Soul"--I think the meaning here in this hymn is using this word to refer to your innermost being--that part of you that never dies--what we call your soul. We need to praise God, not just and only with our earthly bodies, but in a deeper sense, in that part of us that never dies, and is connected to Him with a cord that cannot be broken.

"King of Heaven"
Revelation 19:16 "And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Jesus is king of all that was, is, and is to come. He is all-powerful and all knowing.

"To His feet thy tribute bring"
We are to give God what we owe Him. All we have belongs and came from Him. Should we not give back to Him what He deserves?

Matthew 22:21b "Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

We are ransomed by the blood of Christ. He died in our place. It's not that God was forced to provide Satan a sacrifice, but in that God requires blood for sin, because He cannot allow sin into heaven. Since He wanted His creation of the human race to be able to go to heaven to be with Him to glorify Him forever more, He had to provide a way for that to happen. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to take our place.
God often uses the evil as a ransom for the righteous. Achan was stoned as a ransom for the camp of Israel, and the seven sons of Saul's family were hanged as a ransom for the kingdom of David.

11:8 "The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead."
21:18 "The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright."

In our case, God used His Son, Jesus Christ, to be evil for us. The Father placed all tour sins, present, past, and future on His Son all at the same time as Hew hung upon the cross. And that is why God the Father had to turn away from Jesus on the cross. He could not look at sin.

Matthew 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
1 Titus 2:6 "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

We were dead in our trespasses and sins and on our way to hell. We had the deadly wound of sin. But the blood of Christ healed us, and now we are able to enter God's Presence.

Jeremiah 30:17 "For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, [saying], This [is] Zion, whom no man seeketh after."

We, the human race, were punished because of sin--we reaped the punishment of eternal separation from God. But God provided a way of restoration--through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ we have life eternal!

We were at enmity with God. Our relationship with Him was broken. We had no fellowship with Him; we were not His children. See the above verse again. God has restored us partially back to the human race's original perfect state. We will never get to that point on earth, but we are constantly working on that goal of perfection. And Christ will help us in that, for we cannot attain it of ourselves.

Hebrews 13:21 "Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen."
--through Christ, not ourselves

Hebrews 12:1-2 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (2)Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
--and again, Jesus is the author as well as the finisher of our faith. We cannot attain perfection by ourselves. Neither can we grow in perfection as Christians when we leave God out of the picture. It doesn't work.

"Evermore His praises sing"
Psalm 30:12 "To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever."
We should never stop praising God. In heaven, we will spend eternity praising Him, so we'd better get used to it and start practicing now.

"Alleluia! Alleluia!"
"Alleluia" is the Greek form of the Hebrew "Hallelujah" which means "Praise ye Jehovah." Jehovah is the actual name of God. The Jews would not even pronounce it out of reverence for God Almighty.

"Praise the everlasting King"
Again, we are to praise God, and He is King. But this time, the hymn-writer threw in "everlasting." Our King is everlasting.

Psalm 93:2 "Thy throne [is] established of old: thou [art] from everlasting. "
Romans 16:26 "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"
Psalm 41:13 "Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen."
--Our God is everlasting.

2 Peter 1:11 "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
--Jesus' Kingdom and Kingship is forever and ever.

Revelation 14:6 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, "
--the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will last forever.

Romans 6:22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
--And because of the Resurrection of the Son of God, we have eternal and everlasting life. Amen and Amen!!