Monday, July 14, 2008

Read and Evaluate

Self-examination time! 'nough said.

Revelation 2
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven (part 3/5)

Well, I'm letting the Bible talk mostly today, but I'll intersperse a few of my own comments in here and there....

Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Widely yet His mercy flows.

"Fatherlike He tends and spares us;"
Fathers should and do love their children. God is out Heavenly Father; He tends to our everyday needs (even though we usually don't even realize it--just think: where did your dinner come from? Your clothes?), spares us from evil, and protects us with His mighty hand. Our heavenly Father certainly loves and protects us. Just think what God gave to Job after his trial!! That is an amazing testimony of God's love towards us.

"And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." --Gen. 18:26

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." --John 14:23

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." --1 John 3:1

"Grace be with you, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." --2 John 1:3

"Well our feeble frame He knows."

God uses even the most feeble person to accomplish His will. For example, there is a woman in our church, Lorraine, who is very ill. She has been to death's door several times. Yet, she comes to church as often as she can, half dead, and often having to leave part-way through. She is a testimony to the rest of us of her love for God and His people.

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;" --1 Cor. 1:27

"Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:" --1 Cor. 12:22

"In His hands He gently bears us,"
God always takes care of us when we are in hard situations or when we are going through life in general. He kept you safe driving in the car today, did He not?

"Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." --Isaiah 41:10

"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." --Matt. 10:31

"And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation." --Luke 1:50

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." --2 Titus 1:7

"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." --1 John 4:18

"And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great." --Rev. 19:5

"Rescues us from all our foes."
God will always keep us safe. That doesn't always mean we won't die, but we are kept eternally safe in His hands. No matter what happens, we can rest assured in His arms.

"Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." --Exodus 15:6

"He delivered me from my strong enemy, [and] from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me." --2 Samuel 22:18

"Alleluia! Alleluia!"
I've already explained in past posts on this hymn.

"Widely yet His mercy flows."
Wide and deep is the river of God's mercy. One has just to skim the Bible to see how merciful God is towards us. It is in His great mercy that He chose and saved us. Just look below!

"Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." --1 Peter 2:10

"Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." --James 5:11

"Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," --1 Peter 1:3

"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;" --Titus 3:5

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Friend of God?

As I watched the men in black suits wander about the tent with hundreds of white folding chairs set up, I couldn't help but wonder at how one little decision had changed and affected so many people...statewide, countrywide...worldwide. There, at the top of the CNN homepage, was the bow with a link to watch the funeral proceedings for Brooke Bennett live. I wouldn't have been looking at that video stream had one little 12 year-old girl not lied to her family. She told them she was going to visit her friend's sick relative at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Easy little lie, right? No. It cost her...her life. What you do does affect other people. What friends you have does affect you. Do they bring forth good or bad fruit in your life? Have you evaluated them carefully? Do they change you? Maybe you need to take another look. First, make sure you are right with God, and if not, get back on track with God. (Yes, do read that link--it's a sermon--it's not that long and it's worth it.) You may think they are fine now, but if you are not right with God, then you are not in any position to evaluate them from a Godly standpoint. Then evaluate them through the eyes of a Christlike spirit. Because that's why God chose us --to be conformed to the image of His son. (Romans 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.") We are to be conformed to the image of Christ, not to the image of our friends. If, however, our friends are following God, what they do should not affect our walk with God. In fact, they should encourage you (and you them), to walk closer to God every day. (Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.") But if they do affect us in a way that leads us away from God, then perhaps they are not conforming to the image of Christ and you need to decide who you will conform to. Will you be "cool," keep on talking about the same ungodly things...or will you realize your mistake and return to God? (If you have still not read the link I inserted above, then you need to--now. Either it will convict you if you are not right with God, or it will encourage you if and when you are right with God.) What does the Bible have to say about your speech?

Phillipians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."

Colosions 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

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

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

I don't need to explain those verses to you--they are clear enough. If Jesus was standing right next to you, would you have that conversation you had yesterday? Does what you say bring glory to God? If not, then you'd better just not say it. It's a heart matter, as Jesus says. So check to see if you are following God first. (hence the reason I had you read that sermon first). Do you use God's name in vain? Because if you are His child and you do so, He just turned around and said "Yes? What do you need?" And then you proceed to ignore Him.

Before you do somthing next time, think about how it will affect others. Who will you be friends with? Will you be called a "Friend of God" as Abraham was, or will you be called a "friend of the world"? According to James, he who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God. Who are you right at this moment? A Friend of God? Or not? Why do you do what you do? Will you allow yourself to be influenced by others or will you influence others for God?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


OK, enough politics for the moment...I need to put up a devotional. Hopefully in the next few days...maybe I'll do it on patience. *grin* In fact, I may drop politics from here altogether and do them on a different blog, just to keep this one on course. I'll have to think about it. And...I have.