Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Can Do These

Psalms 37:34 KJV
Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
I find in the last segment of this Psalm three verses that begin with and action. There are some things we as Christian must simply leave to the Lord, but these verses give us three things a righteous man can do:

Depart from evil and do goodvs 27
Step one in building righteousness into our character is to first depart from the Lord and then do good. The Bible says when we do this we will "dwell for evermore." In its ultimate sense then this passage instructs us to depart from the world and place our faith in Christ (that is doing good).

Wait on the Lord and keep His wayvs 34
I have always loved the word wait. It means to be bound together. The Christian ought to bind himself to Christ. We ought to get so wrapped up in the Lord and the things of the Lord that He "drags us along" in His way. No options, no alternatives. We go where Christ goes.

Mark the perfect man and behold the upright
vs 37
The Christian who would have a consistent and growing testimony of righteousness marks out those who have that sort of testimony and they behold or watch them. They will build relationships with them and they will learn from them. Our friends play a huge role in determining who we will become. Good friends make for a better character in us. Poor friends make for the opposite.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fight Against Them

Psalms 35:1 KJV
Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

What a prayer issue this is!
Rather than fighting our own battles
Rather than gearing up and charging against the enemy
It is so much better to pray and seek the Lord's defense on our behalf.

Those who strive with the Christian are well known:
Of course Satan
His plan has forever been to foil the glory of God by spoiling His crowning creation.

The worldThe systems of this world, their philosophies, kingdoms and cultures are all designed to glorify man as his own god. The world can include family, friends, governments, movements, even spiritual methods; anything that finds a life surrendered only to Christ offensive.

But the worst of all is self
Of all the enemies a Christian may face, the most insidious and the one most often to launch and offensive against us will be our flesh and self will.

None of these may be defeated in the power of self and in fact the attempt to defeat them in the power of self is itself a form of attack against us by self.

O LORD, fight against them that fight against me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hoping in Mercy

Psalms 33:18-19 KJV
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

"... His special mercy in Christ; which appears in the provision of him as a Saviour, in the mission of him into this world, and redemption by him; and is displayed in regeneration, the pardon of sin, and eternal life: and such that hope in it are they that see themselves miserable creatures, and in need of it; and who are encouraged to hope in it from the plenty and abundance of it in the heart of God..."

"....Not with dread of his wrath, or distrust of his grace, or for sinister ends and selfish views, but with a godly fear; by which men hate evil, depart from it, are careful not to offend God by it, but to serve and worship him; on such is not only his eye of Providence to protect from danger, to supply with the necessaries of life, but of love and grace"

The place every Christian ought to want to be is directly under the eye of the LORD. It is not, for the believer, a judgmental eye, looking to see what evil he may be up to, but a caring eye, enjoying the sight of those whom He loves so dearly.

And those He loves so dearly, hope in His mercy. They know they are not worthy. They are not attempting to cover up things before God and put on a show, they just believe that God is merciful and they seek that.

Oh Lord, be merciful! Deliver us and keep us.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Iniquity of Son

Psalms 32:5 KJV
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

The three major terms for sin are all found in this one verse:
Transgressions means a revolt or rebellion
Iniquity means a perversity, a moral evil and the punishment of it
Sin means an offense

What I was interested in was the wording, "...Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin."

Barnes Notes says
“All the guilt,” or the “iniquity” of his sin, was at once forgiven..."

Gill says
"That is, either the guilt of his sin, which he took away from him; or the punishment of it, which he delivered him from..."

When the Psalmist acknowledged his sin to the Lord, the Lord then forgave (I believe we can say) both the guilt and the punishment of said sin.

Praise God! His grace lifts away the guilt of the sin so that we may have peace of soul and the punishment of sin so that we may have peace with God.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

By Thy Favour

Psalms 30:7 KJV
LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

It is both a comfort and a humbling thought that our successes, strengths and prosperities are not of our own making, but the result of the favor of the Lord.

It is comforting because we may rest in Him who is always good.
It is humbling because the sinful human nature longs o beg credit for its own "mountain."

Gill says
" was not owing to his own merit that he enjoyed the prosperity that he did, so neither was the continuance of it owing to his goodness, power, and strength, but to the free grace and favour of God...."

Praise God for His free grace and favor.

Friday, September 25, 2009

His Commandment

1 John 3:23 KJV
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

It is true that some things in the Bible require study and some considerable thought to get hold of, but it is also true that much of the Bible (and most it, the most important parts) is written so simply that even the smallest child can understand them.

In this case the Bible tells us that
First, because we keep His commandments we can have our requests answered and
Second, when we keep His commandments we dwell in Him

So far so good; but what are those commandments? Are they complicated and difficult to both understand and obey? Are they such strenuous commandments that most people could not hope to obey them? Not at all! The commandment is only this

Believe on the name of Jesus Christ and
Love one another

A child could so easily both understand and keep these commandments. It is no hard task physically or mentally. But it does take a meek and humble spirit; which is why so very few will walk this way.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

1 John 2:6 (KJV) Even As He

1 John 2:6 KJV
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

This passage is straightforward and to the point;

If you say you abide in Christ
You ought to so walk
Even as Christ walked

Nothing difficult to understand here. The Christian should live his life in a manner that imitates the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means we

First must know how Jesus walked.
We can't make this up and put our own opinions in here. The question isn't, "What Would Jesus Do?" The question is, "What did Jesus do?" Only when we are completely versed in the actions, attitudes and words of the Lord can we walk as He walked.

Secondly we must apply it to our own circumstances.Since we do not live in the same age and culture the Lord lived our circumstances are somewhat different than those we find in the New Testament. This doesn't give us leave to conjure up our own opinions of what Christ would have done, it just means we must understand our Bibles that much better. The Bible doesn't tell us just what we ought to have done if we lived 2000 years ago, the Bible is a living book with direction for life right now. We need only to study it to rightly divide it and apply it.

We that are Christians are to follow the life, not just of Paul and the other apostles or even of Christians who either live or have lived. We are "so to walk, even as He walked."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Walking in the Light

1 John 1:7 KJV
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The best way to know that we are walking in the light is to realize that if we are in the light, our sins will be exposed. The more light, the more sin we will be able to see....

When we are in the light, we will not be deceived into thinking we have no sin
When we are in the light, we will be quick to confess our sins
When we are in the light we will know that not only are we sinners, but we have followed through with our nature and committed sins.

Darkness dims the truth about our sin nature. The light of the Lord Jesus, cleanses us from sin because it exposes the sin.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stir Up

2 Peter 3:1-2 KJV
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Peter says that both the prophets and the apostles had this one goal in their preaching, to stir our minds that:

Scoffers will come, don't let them snow you.
They can mock and scoff and argue all they please. God knew it would happen and it doesn't change His plans.

The Lord is longsuffering, don't let that throw you.
We preach that the Lord is going to come at any moment, but he hasn't come in two thousand years now. But that should not bother us. One day is like a thousand years to the Lord. When He comes we will all know that it was soon.

So while we wait, make sure we know Him.
We would best use our days of waiting upon the Lord by growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. These aren't wasted years so long as we apply ourselves to the right things.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Know

Psalms 20:6 KJV
Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

Nothing spectacular and new today. I just really like this thought, "Now I know that the Lord saveth...."

The assurance of knowing that our faith is not merely something we hopes is effective but that it is something God in fact does brings huge comfort.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thy Sword

Psalms 17:13-14 KJV
Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
From men which are thy hand ....

The construction of the text is undeniable. God uses the wicked as his sword to chasten and refine His own. Job saw God use Satan as His sword. God often used the nations of the Philistines and Assyrians as chastening swords in Israel and Jerusalem finally saw God use Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar as a chastening sword in among them.

However, here, is what I was blessed by this morning; the Psalmist prays, and thus gives us precedent to pray in a similar fashion, that God would deliver us from His very own sword. True enough, God uses the wicked and men of the earth to chasten and refine His children, but we, who are His children, are free to ask the Lord to deliver us from them.

Father, we need chastening, we need the discipline that comes from judgment and we are happy to acknowledge Your rightful use of any creature on this planet to bring about that chastening sword. But this morning I beg that we be delivered from them. Father, have mercy upon us and cast down the enemy, though he be used as Your rod!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

From the Lord, Through the Psalmist and To the Saints

Psalms 16:2-3 KJV
O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

There is a direction indicated in the text this morning. The Psalmist says that the Lord is His Lord. He is under the submission of the Lord. He is the subordinate of the Lord. The Lord is his master and to his master he bows.

Having made such a declaration his next statement points; from the Lord, through the Psalmist and to the saints. The goodness that God had shown to him, he would now extend to others.

He would not keep it for himself
He would not hoard it and hide it
He would pass it along

To the saints and
To the excellent

I am reminded of
Romans 5:5 KJV
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

What God places in the heart of the saint may not stay there. If it is of God at all it must be shed abroad. It must spill out and onto others.

The Psalmists final statement in our text this morning is that these saints and excellent are his delight. Oh that we may also delight in the brethren!

Friday, September 18, 2009

According to God

1 Peter 4:6 KJV
For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
The passage does not mean that they were dead when the Gospel was preached to them but that many who have died have heard the Gospel.

Barnes Commentary says
In respect to that - to the flesh - they were put to death; in respect to their souls - their higher natures - they were made truly to live.

I want to address the difference of focus "according to men" and "according to God."

According to men, those believers who have gone to the grave are dead.
Their lives are over
Their consciousness is gone
They are but memories

According to men, they have been judged
They have gone the same was as the unbeliever
They were not bettered by their faith

But according to God this is not so.
According to God, they live. It is not that they will live one day, but that they are living right now. Though the flesh has failed, their spirit is as fresh as the new born.
According to God, they are quickened. They are animated. They are active and conscious and full of all that is life.

I am more interested in living according to God than I am according to men.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Loving Life

1 Peter 3:10-11 KJV
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

There is something deeper here than I think comes to our minds at the very first. There is a life to love that is beyond the few years we have on earth and that life is the one to love.

Those believers of a few hundred years ago, who gave up their earthly lives (some of them being very young) for the sake of their faith in Christ, certainly loved life every bit as much as anyone could today. However they saw that this life was only the beginning, a precursor to another life that was of far greater importance than this.
They saw eternity with Christ
They saw the rewards of a faithful life
They saw the consequences of lack of faithfulness
Issues that so impacted what would be their final destiny that they were willing to pay any price, even suffering and death in this life, to secure a brighter life in eternity.

They loved life. And because they loved life they wanted their lives to blessed and abundant in eternity: even if it meant sacrificing now to receive that abundance then.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Got What I Couldn't Have

1 Peter 2:10 KJV
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.

This is a wonderful passage;
One who has no mercy receives mercy
One who has no hope finds hope
One who is outside the promises finds himself inside those same promises

This is the greatest of all miracles and is the marvelous message of the Word..... We begin with no mercy, but we, who come to Christ find what we could never deserve.

Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

But Men

Psalms 9:20 KJV
Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
I am not one given to praying for bad things to happen to people, even when I believe they have done badly. But this Biblical prayer is one worthy of our bringing before the Lord regularly; not that we wish evil and bad things to happen to others, but that the nations of this world would see that they are but men.

Nations, and especially those leaders of them, can so easily take on a god complex. They begin to view themselves as larger than life and above not only the laws they themselves have created, but the law of God. They view themselves as
Wiser than those they lead
More power than those they lead and
Having more privilege than those they lead

And they forget that, though they may lead, they are ultimately still accountable to the Sovereign of all.

O Lord, cause our nations leaders to fear You for only in that fear can they have any real wisdom. Help them to see that they are but men. Lead them to lead only as they in turn follow You.

Monday, September 14, 2009

His Righteousness

Psalms 7:17 KJV
I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

One of the grandest reasons to give praise to the Lord is according to or on account of His own righteousness. We know we are to give thanks in everything. But sometimes things are not so easy for us to praise and give thanks for.
Difficult circumstances in life
Challenges with health
Problems in relationships

We can praise the Lord at all times when we come to the place where we see that God is always righteous and always right. This world has some terrible things in it. But God has a plan and in that plan, those that trust in Him can never fear. God will make all things good.

Praise Him according to His righteousness.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

As For Me

Psalms 5:7 KJV
But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

While God has placed us here as witnesses, it is important that we remember our first priority is not to witness but to worship.

Regardless of what others do
Regardless of what other issues come up

Our place is to come into the house of the Lord and worship.

We come in His fear and
We come trusting His mercy

But by all means we come.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First Pure

James 3:17 KJV
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

The wisdom from above can be defined as having two characteristics, purity and peaceable (each of the descriptors given after peaceable give more detail about being peaceable.)

But the passage says that the wisdom that is from above is first pure. In other words, if it is not pure, it is not from above even if it is peaceable. The qualifier for its being from above is that it is pure. Without this purity it is not from above regardless of whatever other good things it might be.

I am remind that the Bible says, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."[1] It is not always possible and the thing that makes it not possible is that we must first be pure, holy and separate from sinners.

The standard for whether something is from God or not is - is it pure. And the measuring rod for purity must not be our opinions but the Word of God. If anything is in conflict with the Word of God, no matter what other good things might be said about it, it is not from above, it is earthly, sensual and devilish. It may appear to have accomplished wonderful things, but if it is not pure according to the Word of God, it is not from above.

Purity, according to God's standard must be the qualifier. Otherwise it "descendeth not from above."
[1] Romans 12:18

Friday, September 11, 2009

Perfected Faith

James 2:22 KJV
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Gill says this
"...the sense is, that hereby his faith was declared to be sincere, unfeigned, true, and genuine; just as love is said to be perfected."

Every Christian ought to seek a perfected faith.
Not that we can ever become sinlessly perfect, only Jesus is that
Nor that our faith will not experience ebbs and flows. Abraham, of whom our text refers, experienced such times, and if he, then certainly we.

But that, through the practice and exercising of our faith, we may have a faith that is
· Visible to others
· Sincere and
· Profitable

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Sum of the Book

Job 42:17 KJV
So Job died, being old and full of days.

I do not consider the book of Job one of the easier in the Bible to get hold of.
Job's friends appear to say very truthful things, but God says they do not speak truth
Job's testimony from God's own mouth is that he is a perfect and upright man, yet he seems to get a stern lecture by the Lord toward the end of the book
Job claims to trust God (and I believe he did) but he also complains that he wishes he had never been born.

But in the end the Bible says "So Job died being old and full of days."

Regardless of the confusing properties that exist in the contents of the book the final lesson and sum of its message is that Job did more than merely survive his trials. Job came through them into remarkable blessing.

I do not believe that each Christian should expect the exact same results as Job experienced, but I am confident that the primary lesson of the book is that the believer may expect that, as he trusts the Lord, he too will come through his trials having more than survived them but being blessed wonderfully despite them.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Good Thing

Hebrews 13:9 KJV
Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Albert Barnes Notes says
"The apostle does not exhort them to adhere to an opinion merely because they had before held it, or because it was an old opinion, nor does he forbid their following the leadings of truth though they might be required to abandon what they had before held; but he cautions them against that vacillating spirit, and that easy credulity, which would lead them to yield to any novelty, and to embrace an opinion because it was new or strange."

"A religious opinion, once embraced on what was regarded as good evidence, or in which we have been trained, should not be abandoned for slight causes. Truth indeed should always be followed, but it should be only after careful inquiry."

Because the book of Hebrews is originally written Jews who had come to Christ, and because of the reference to "meats" in the verse, this text is likely a reference to the doctrines of the Judaizers who attempted to meld their old Jewish practices with the teachings of Christ and, in consequence, derived new doctrines that were neither Jewish nor Christian. But the principles apply to any believer in any age who is faced with any "new" doctrine. We should not be quick to abandon what we have once embraced. Surely there are times when it becomes necessary. When we, having searched the Scriptures, find those doctrines we have leaned upon wanting for scriptural foundation, it is our duty to abandon them for the Word of God. There are many who are so stuck in their traditional denominations, for instance, that they refuse to come to Christ because it will, of necessity, mean they must leave their old friend. But I rather think in our day the problem is the other way around. People today are too quick to accept a doctrine as truth without giving it proper investigation. They will climb on board any new teaching so long as it is the one that promises them what they believe God should give them or the one that appears to be the most successful.

God help us to have the spirit of discernment to try the spirits whether they be of God and only approve that which is doctrinally excellent.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Lift Up Those Hands!

Hebrews 12:12-13 KJV
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

We must carefully see that this exhortation is not so much that we as Christians lift up the hands of others who are faint, but that we lift up our own hands and strengthen our own feeble knees after having been chastened of the Lord.

Chastening is never joyous and we are not asked to act as if it is. However the benefits of the chastening of the Lord are so numerous and the implications attached to the fact that the Lord would chasten us are so encouraging that, while we do not rejoice in the chastening, we may certainly rejoice in its fruit.

So what is expected of us is clear; let not the believer linger in self pity and depression. Lift up our hands, straighten our knees, make our paths straight and move right on for the glory of God. If we continue in our lame spirit it will be to our undoing. God has equipped us with whatever we need to be healthy in the spirit. Accept that healing and go on in peace and holiness for Jesus Christ!
As you may have noticed, I have not posted in two weeks. My wife and I took a couple of weeks vacation. We did not go anywhere special this year, just a few day trips and some time with family. While I did visit with the Lord each day, I did not have access to the internet to post the results of those visits. So today I offer two weeks worth of devotional time.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Never Mind That

Hebrews 11:15 KJV
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

Gill's Commentary is sufficient for this passage
"...when men are called by grace, and converted, they come out of a country, this world, which is a land of sin and iniquity, of great folly and ignorance, of darkness, and of the shadow of death; a desert, a mere wilderness; a country where Satan reigns, full of wicked and ungodly men; and which is the land of their nativity, as to their first birth: and they may be said to come out of it, not in a natural and civil sense, but in a spiritual one; and it is the character of a converted man, or one that is come out of the world, and is separated from it, to be unmindful of it; not so as not to consider from whence he came out, as owing to rich grace; nor so as not to lament the iniquities of it; nor so as not to pray for the conversion of the inhabitants of it; but he is unmindful of it, so as to be desirous of the company of the men of it, or to have the affections set upon it, and the heart tickled with the pleasures of it, or so as to desire to return to it, for which there is a great deal of reason: for this country is not worth minding; and there is much in it to set a gracious mind against it; a good man has better things to mind; and it is below, and unworthy of a Christian, to mind the world; and besides, worldly mindedness is attended with bad consequences..."

God help us to not be mindful of this world.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Ant and His Friends

Proverbs 6:6-8 KJV
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

This passage, though often quoted and frequently referred to, is seldom taken in its proper context. It ought to be taken into consideration with the subject of surety.

Do not be slothful about delivering yourself from your suretyship. You have yoked your name and possessions with the debt of another; be diligent in getting the situation paid for.
Provide for it
Plan for it
Pay for it
Humble yourself and make sure your friend. See that the debt is paid in whatever means you must do so. Otherwise your own poverty will come.

The Bible teaches us to bear one another's burdens. Sometimes a brother can be in debt and in need of help in getting out of debt. The problem comes when we attach our own names to debts they accrue. Like a sinking ship, if we jump on board rather than saving them, we may go down with them.

So the point of the parable is not merely that we plan for our own "winter" but that, if we have placed our name with another in debt that we are not slothful about getting the debt resolved. Maybe not that we don't get in debt, but that we "gather food" for the "harvest" of paying the debt off.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Look For Him

Hebrews 9:28 KJV
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.

The coming of the Lord is so much more important a doctrine than we often give it merit. This is no doctrine we ought to play with, proposing varying ideas concerning when and why and for whom. The Word of God says in this passage that salvation belongs to those who look for Him.

So at least one of the evidences of the true believer is that they look for the appearing of Jesus Christ.
They believe it to be fact
They expect it to be soon
They long for it to be now and
They live with it in mind

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Lord Pitched It

Hebrews 8:2 KJV
A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Gill says this is a reference not to heaven but to the Church of Christ. The church is an institution of the Lord. It is His and He is the head of it. He gives to the church whom He chooses and He preserves it as He pleases. The Lord cherishes His church. He designs its testimony to be holy and without blemish.

May God grant us that we never forget what an awesome thing it is to belong to the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched.
May we support it
May we be faithful to it
May we never forsake it

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Not Slothful

Hebrews 6:12 KJV
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

God's saints are called to be diligent and not slothful. Usually I think of sloth as having to do with our work ethics.
Getting to work on time
Giving our employer an honest day
Doing our diligence to be educated concerned our work

But this text uses sloth in context to our Christian walk. God says we are to follow other believers and that we are not to be slothful about it.

God has called us to be followers
He likens us to sheep and we do well to view ourselves as God instructs and not as we would like to think of ourselves. We are creatures who need to be led. In fact I don't believe we are ever without leadership. We either follow purposefully or inadvertently, but we are following, so the real question becomes

Who are we following?
I suggest that those who through faith and patience inherit the promises are those whose lives on earth have been completed and have now inherited those promises. We can never know that the one who appears to have faith and patience in fact will inherit those promises. Too many have fallen short after years and years of supposedly walking with the Lord for me to trust anyone who has not finished his course. I choose to follow those whose race is run.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

God Forbid

Job 27:5 KJV
God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

These are the words of Job and not of his friends. Much of what his friends say sounds pious and good, but we must be careful, remembering from whence those words come. Not so here. Job makes an affirmation that any believer would be wise to make.

He says he will not remove his integrity.
He knows what is right
He knows he has followed the Lord
He knows he has been upright and just
He knows he has feared God and eschewed evil

And though the tide of circumstances has gotten it so these others are in, on the human plane, in a position to deride and judge him, Job refuses to budge on right and wrong.

He will not buy into the charismatic mentality of Eliphaz
He will not degrade his faith to the Protestant mentality of Bildad
He will not conform his life to the dogmatic mentality of Zophar

His is, by the testimony of God, a pure walk. And Job wasn't budging!

God give us some believers like that today!

God Forbid

Job 27:5 KJV
God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

These are the words of Job and not of his friends. Much of what his friends say sounds pious and good, but we must be careful, remembering from whence those words come. Not so here. Job makes an affirmation that any believer would be wise to make.

He says he will not remove his integrity.
He knows what is right
He knows he has followed the Lord
He knows he has been upright and just
He knows he has feared God and eschewed evil

And though the tide of circumstances has gotten it so these others are in, on the human plane, in a position to deride and judge him, Job refuses to budge on right and wrong.

He will not buy into the charismatic mentality of Eliphaz
He will not degrade his faith to the Protestant mentality of Bildad
He will not conform his life to the dogmatic mentality of Zophar

His is, by the testimony of God, a pure walk. And Job wasn't budging!

God give us some believers like that today!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Unprofitable Word

Hebrews 4:2 KJV
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
When all is said and done, the Word preached will either be profitable or unprofitable to the hearer because of faith.

The Word of God, mixed with faith, is profitable.
It saves
It comforts
It corrects
It instructs
It guides
It blesses

But the same Word of God, often preached at the same time, is also preached to some who do not mix it with faith. And it is to them, unprofitable.
They do not believe
They are not blessed
They will not obey and therefore

Nothing has changed.

This is a faith operation. And faith, though it may be passed from one to another, is always a gift of God and not a product of man's industry. Ultimately we come down to this.... whether the Word of God is profitable or not is a matter of what God has done in the heart of the hearer.

We lean upon the Lord.