Archive for June, 2013

A Reason To Live (Deuteronomy 33-34; Psalm 119:145-176)

June 28, 2013

“Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me,” Psalm 175:176

“It’s Friday, Oh how I live for Fridays,”  These were the excited words that came from the mouth of a person who has Fridays as their day off from work.  I must confess, I wondered, “How does this person feel about the other days of the week?”

Before us this morning are two distinctly different passages of scripture.  In Deuteronomy 33-34 Moses is coming to the end of his life.  He gives the last instructions he will give and he prays for the people.  Chapter 34 records his last day here on the earth.  Moses, as great as he was, reminds us of our need of a Savior.

In Psalm 119 we are delighting in God’s gift of His Word.  In the last three sections of the chapter we discover how the Word gives us constant reminders that keep us wanting to move onward and upward for the glory of the Lord.

I want to offer you three reminders from the text:

I.  The Word gives us a reason to get up in the morning, Vs: 143

II.  The Word gives us a reason to lie down at night, Vs: 148

III.  The Word gives us a reason to live in daily awe of God, Vs: 161

These reasons alone cause me to want to live for every day.  Consider these facts: 1) God’s mercies are new every morning.  2) God’s grace keeps us and watches over us in the night.  3)  God’s glory and majesty are revealed in many ways each and every day.  Again this should cause us to want to live every day.

Finally, I know there are some who read this who are in the midst of tough days.  Allow me to point you to the Word of God, “We wait eagerly for the adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies,” Romans 8:23.  There is coming a day when all sorrow will end, there will be no more sickness or pain, and no more dying.   All is peace forever on that happy golden shore.  What a day, glorious day that will be!!!

For further reading consider the wonder of Romans 8

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The Unfolding of God’s Word (Deuteronomy 32; Psalm 119:121-144)

June 27, 2013

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts an understanding to the simple.”  Psalm 119:129

This morning I found myself in complete awe of God as I read His Word.  I am presently, in addition to our More for Christ readings, reading through Romans.  This wonderful letter from Paul is truly the theological constitution of the Christian faith.  As one reads he or she comes away with an amazing awareness of who God is and how men are to relate to him.

This morning I was in Romans 7 where Paul continues his discussion concerning the laws relationship to man.  I encourage you to open your Bible to this passage and follow the outline below:

I.  The law reveals the depths of my sin, Vs: 7-14

The 10 commandments reveal, without question, I am a sinner.

2.  My sin reveals the depths of my depravity, Vs: 15-23

The commandments reveal, without question, I am a slave of sin.

3.  His grace reveals the depths of His sufficient sacrifice for my sin, Vs: 24-25

God’s grace clearly shows me how God saves all who come to him by faith through grace alone.

As I finished this chapter, I could not help but praise the name of our great and glorious God who has not only given me grace but has given me an understanding of his Word.

In Psalm 119:121-144 the Psalmist makes the following discoveries:  1) All of God’s precepts are right.  2) All people fail to keep the law.  3) All God’s promises are well-tried and they are true.  God’s desire is that we would try His Word, trust His Word, and obey His Word.  When this happens, the path we took in Romans 7 will be clear each and every day.

Lord, teach us to daily seek to be in your Word, to be changed by your Word, and to communicate your Word to others.  In it is the food we need for eternal life.”  

This is Good Stuff (Deuteronomy 31; Psalm 119:97-120)

June 26, 2013

“How sweet are you words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth,” Psalm 119:103

Recently I received a copy of a book entitled, “The Insanity of God.”  Needless to say the book was GOOD STUFF.  But if you had seen me while I was reading this book and even now you might make the following observation, “This is what Good stuff does to a person.”

The book is about the persecuted church.  I am forever altered by what I have read.  Things that I have struggled with for years have been solved for me.  But the result of these struggles have brought, as I said to one of my brothers in Christ, “Miles and miles of repentance.”  I recommend the book to you, it is good stuff.

However, there is a book that I recommend even more, “It is the Bible.”  Psalm 119 teaches us of the great value of the Word of God.  In our particular section of reading for today we concentrate on verses 97-120.  Notice the good stuff in these verses:

1.  God’s law gives us great understanding, Vs: 97-104

This understanding humbles us as we have been given knowledge that helps us overcome our enemies.  We have been given knowledge that is greater than earthly teaching.  We have been given knowledge that helps us overcome our enemies.

2.  God’s law is a lamp and light to our path, Vs: 105-112

Because of God’s Word we can walk in the light and bypass the darkness.  Romans 6:12-23 gives us a great picture of this truth.

3.  God’s law gives us daily hope, Vs: 113-120

According to God’s promises we now have life, Vs: 116.  According to God’s promises we are held on solid ground in a sinking world, Vs: 117.

Praise be unto God for his Good Stuff!!  Because of Christ we do not have to fear the law.  In Christ we can delight in the law because it gives us the way to live now that we are recipients of grace!!!

Question, “Are you getting the good stuff?”  If not consider setting a table each day where you can get alone with God and read his Word.  It will be the best meal of your day.

A Clear Word (Deuteronomy 29; Psalm 119:49-72)

June 24, 2013

But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear,”  Deuteronomy 29:4

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments,”  Psalm 119:66

There he stood, he seemed to be greatly confused.  I approached this man to see if I could help him.  It was as I expected, he could not remember where he parked his car.  So, I tried to help him.  But it was the blind leading the blind.  He could not tell me much about his car.  All he could say was, “It is a red car.”  Finally, he remembered more details and we found the car.

Brothers and sisters, there are days when our lives feel like the scene above.  Here we are looking for answers and all we see are miles and miles of words but no clear word.  As Moses spoke to the new generation in Israel, it was against the backdrop of God’s clear Word to them.  Here is God’s Word through Moses:

1.  God has worked for you and you do not know it, Vs: 1-8

2.  God will work for you if you will obey him, Vs: 9-28

3.  God alone knows what the future holds, Vs: 29

The clear Word was simply this, “If you obey me, you will walk in safety now in the days ahead.  But if you do not obey me, tragedy lies ahead.”

In Psalm 119 we see the importance of knowing and obeying the Word.  In Vs: 49-72 we realize how that God’s Word gives the following:

Vs: 50, The Word gives life

Vs: 55-56, The Word brings comfort

Vs: 66-72, The Word leads us to a place of commitment

Vs: 72, The Word becomes the cherished possession in our lives.

Brothers and sisters, this is the clear Word we need. However we must be reminded that sin separates us from the clarity of the Word.  We must seek to walk in fellowship and in holiness before our God.  As we do the Word of God becomes clear.

Dear Father, forgive me of any sin in my life.  Help me to hear and understand your life-giving word.  May I cherish the Word every hour of every day!!!”

That’s all he talked about (Deuteronomy 26: Psalm 117-118)

June 21, 2013

“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation,”  Psalm 118:14

It was all he talked about.  He could not get it off of his mind.  Whenever you would see him, you knew the subject was about to be talked about.  This was the commentary of a family member of someone who became a Christ follower.  It became so intense that one family member commented, “We will see if he is this zealous six months from now.”

Question, “What do you and I find ourselves occupied with?”  This morning we discover the Psalmist occupied with praise to our Father for two things:

I.  He praised God for providing salvation, Vs: 19-24

II.  He praised God for protecting his salvation, Vs: 5-13

As I read this chapter it was clear that praise was always on his lips.  We see this in Vs: 1-4, 15, 26-29.  As you read Deuteronomy 26 you quickly discover a people who became givers because of their praise to God.

Question, “Is our praise for real?”  Often people’s praise is only in the good times.  For example, when Jesus was entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday the people began to praise him.  They quote from this very Psalm, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Vs: 26

Genuine praise happens in both good times and in bad times.  Genuine praise comes as a result of being occupied with Jesus.  We see this in Paul’s life as he writes to the Romans.  “I am under obligation.”  

Today, I am convinced that I am saved and that He is able to save all people who will come to Him.  This is the passion of my life.  This must be the passion of the church.

This was the passion of the person I wrote about in the beginning of this blog.  6 months did pass and Jesus was still all he talked about.  1 year passed and 2 years past, still talking about Jesus.  Now 35 years have passed and he is still talking about Jesus.  May it be the same in our lives.

 

In The Presence Of All The People (Deuteronomy 25; Psalm 116)

June 20, 2013

“I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.”  Psalm 116:14

“I blew it.”  These were the words spoken by a person in our church after an encounter with a neighbor.  Question, “How did this person blow it?”  Did this person blow it in doing something wrong?  Or could it be something else?

Often we get upset when we do something wrong or we say something wrong.  And we should get upset when we fail.  But this was not the issue.  The person who said this was broken-hearted because they failed in an opportunity to share the gospel with the person they had been paying for.  Wow, what a perspective!!!

In Psalm 116, we see (In his writing) the Psalmist who has cried out to God for mercy. We discover how God responded to his cry.  His encounter with God left a visible impression on his life.  Notice his testimony before the people:

I.  I was a dead man, Vs: 3-4

This man was praying for mercy.  Our God came in mercy to deliver him from the body of death.

II.  I became a living man, Vs: 5-8

God was is gracious, righteous, and merciful took the dead man and made him a living man.  The Psalmist describes God power, “He delivered my soul from death, He delivered my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.  

III.  I know want to be a dedicated man, Vs: 9-19

The Psalmist was now able to walk in the land of the living.  His greatest desire was to magnify the salvation (Lift up the cup) of this glorious God.  He would seek to live for God in the power of the Spirit of God.

Brothers and sisters, this is what this church member wanted their neighbor to know about.  This is what we should want our neighbors to know about as well.

In the New Testament the Apostle Paul shared these very same truths with the church at Ephesus.  For further reading, check out Ephesians 2:1-10.

Not Afraid of Bad News (Deuteronomy 23; Psalm 112-113)

June 18, 2013

“When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.”  Deuteronomy 23:9

“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord,” Psalm 112:7

Truly I could feel the pain in the heartfelt words of the mother whose teenager was walking in a rebellious path.  As she talked about what she was facing, I found myself wanting to help her in some way.  Her pain had turned to great fear.  She said to me, “Every time the phone rings I shake on the inside because I am afraid that it will be bad news about my son.”

Brothers and sisters, in Christ, everyone can identify with those moments of bad news.  In Psalm 112 we find great reason to rejoice in the God who gives us a reason to have faith even in the presence of bad news.

This chapter begins with glorious praise to our God.  Those who praise Him most are those according to verse one who both fear and delight in God.  When God occupies the throne in a person’s life he or she can face every moment with confident assurance of victory on the other side of any moment.  

The writer of Psalm 112 mentions two areas where we can have assurance:

1.  Assurance in our financial situation, Vs: 3-7

2.  Assurance in our battles, Vs: 8-10

You and I can be assured of victory over bad news if we are both dedicated and delighting in the Lord.  Here is God’s take away for us:  “Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread or disaster,”  Prov. 1:33

This is the good news that mother needed to hear.  And by the way, she did.  Today she has a son who is serving the Lord.  May you and I do the same!!!

Come Lord Jesus (Deuteronomy 22; Psalm 110-11)

June 17, 2013

“The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”  Psalm 110:1

As I think back over the days of my childhood, one of the most significant sermons I ever heard was a sermon taken from Revelation 22: 17 “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”  I can still remember the pastor pleading with God.  I can hear those words coming from his mouth, “Come Lord Jesus.”  I still remember the thoughts that I had as a young man.  Here were some of those thoughts:  “Lord, I really don’t know if I want you to come today.  I have a lot that I want to do.  Lord, what will my life be like when you return?  How does your coming play into my plan for my life?”

As I look back I see how selfish I was in those thoughts.  Today, 35 years later I find myself crying out to God, “Come Lord Jesus.”

Question, “What has made the change?”  Here is the answer, “Coming to know Jesus and coming to see the world without Jesus.”  In Psalm 110 we see Jesus in full color.  Notice two things about this Jesus who is coming again:

1.  Jesus is in the place of Lordship, Vs: 1

2.  Jesus will always be in the place of Lordship, Vs: 2-7

As we look at these verses we are reminded of Jesus words in Mk. 12:35-37.  We will bow down to this wonderful Lord Jesus (Rev. 1:4-7).  The longer I live the more reasons I have to bow down to this Jesus.

I want to encourage you to spend some time thinking about the reasons why we should be looking forward to his coming.  Now I am going to encourage you to focus on your day (Is this a day when you need help).  I believe many of us would be greatly encouraged if we would spend time praising the Lord who is coming.  There is nothing that you are facing that will keep Jesus from coming and making all things right.

Even know my heart is eased and my perspective is lifted as I think about my day.  Praise be unto our soon coming king.

Why Does He Love Us? (Deuteronomy 19; Psalm 106)

June 14, 2013

“Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.”  Psalm 106:6

After watching a recent evening news broadcast I came away with this question, “God, why have you not destroyed our nation?”  Our’s is a nation in open rebellion against God.

This morning I found myself asking this same question as I read Psalm 106.  In this Psalm we see the tragic display of the results of the fall in the life of Israel.  From the time of her bondage in Egypt (Vs:6) to the time of her bondage by Babylon (Vs:43) we see the results of the fall.

In every case outlined by God we clearly see how the people deserved the wrath of God.  However, time and time God looked to their distress and removed his hand of judgment, Vs: 44.

I must ask, “Why did God love Israel?”  And I must ask, “Why does God love America?”  Here is God’s answer, “My steadfast love endures forever and ever,” Vs: 1.  

Several years ago an atheist was delivering a lecture on the reasons why there is not a God.  In the midst of his lecture he gave the following observation, “If there is a God, then why does he not judge me in the next five minutes for my rebellion against him.”  Five minutes later nothing had happened.  In this man’s mind the point was proven.  But then a man in the back of the lecture hall arose with an observation, “Sir, do you believe you can exhaust the patience of God in five minutes.”

Brothers and sisters, “God in his patience is long-suffering.”  But be assured there will come a day of judgment.  But thanks be unto God that there was one who came (As did Moses, Psalm 106:25) who stood in the gap.  We know his name to be Jesus.  Because of Jesus (John 3:16) we can experience God’s love forever and ever!!!

 

Our One Hope (Deuteronomy 18; Psalm 105)

June 13, 2013

“Remember the wondrous works that He has done, his miracles, and judgments he uttered,”  Psalm 105:5

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers-it is to him you shall listen,” Deuteronomy 18:15

Recently I read a quote from a politically active person.  Here was their quote, “Never would I have thought there would be a president who would in comparison cause Richard Nixon to look like a saint.”  Now before you think I am trying to be politically motivated, here my point, “No one person or a group of people can fix the problems we have.” The problem we have is”sin.”  The solution is for an outside source to come and fix our problem.

Question, “Who could this outside source be?”  All the people I know have the same problem as I do.  We are all sinners.  So it stands to reason, the solution is outside of us.  Our one hope must come from somewhere else.

This is exactly what Moses is talking about in Deuteronomy 18:15-22.  Moses is predicting the day when our One true Hope will come.  This one hope is Jesus Christ.  The gospel of John 1:21, 25, 45 teaches us that this one true hope has come.  You and I can now live in hope because of Jesus.

Today, maybe someone has let you down, confused you, or turned on you.  Allow me to turn your attention away from them to the one who true is our hope.  In Psalm 105 we are reminded of his great work in the life of Israel.  Today, we see his work in our lives.

Today, we celebrate the fact, “In Jesus we have hope.” Allow the writing of the Psalmist to sink deep into your heart, “So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing…”  

Today, we celebrate the fact, “Jesus is coming again.”  “Every eye will see him, even those who have pierced him,” Rev. 1:7.  When He comes our hope will become reality.  Praise be  unto His name.