Archive for June, 2013

Praise to the one who made it all (Deuteronomy 17; Psalm 104)

June 12, 2013

“Bless the Lord, O my Soul!  O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent,”  Psalm 104:1-2

Weeks ago Sherry and John attended the national Lego festival which happened to be in Louisville Ky.  Last year I attended as well.  I must admit I did not expect much when we were going, but oh how I was wrong.  It was truly amazing to see all the creations from Lego’s.  But even more amazing was hearing about the people who created all of this.  I honestly can say, “I came away saying, ‘The creators are amazing!'”

How could anyone read Psalm 104 without coming away saying, “Our creator is amazing!!!”  As one read’s this chapter he or she should be praising our great God.  In particular I will point out two reasons why we should praise Him:

1.  The God who created everything also care for His creation, Vs: 27-28

How does God care for us?  He provides and protects all who are His.

2.  The God who created everything is still in control of everything, Vs: 31-35

Nothing is beyond his control.  Nothing is above his wisdom.  Finally, nothing is below his ability to reach down  Brothers and sisters, I came away from this passage praising our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

In particular I praised him for ordering my life correctly from beginning to now and eventually to the end.  Dear Father, help me to live in obedience and praise before you.

Don’t Forget The Benefits (Deuteronomy 16; Psalm 103)

June 11, 2013

“Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God…” Deuteronomy 16:1

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,” Psalm 103:2

“How are things going in your life?” “They are great.”  This same question was asked of another follower of Christ. Here was their response, “Things are terrible.”  Now without any background information, it would seem that these people were in different circumstances of life.  But if you knew their story you would see that actually they were both in the same circumstances of life.  So what made the different in their perspective? One focused on their burden while the other focused on their blessings!!!

Here in Psalm 103 the Psalmist challenges us to focus on our blessings.  He names four in the text and also illustrates them in the text.  I am going to list these for you and then I am going to trust that you will read them this day:

1.  God forgives our sin, Vs: 3 (This is illustrated in Vs: 10-12)

2.  God redeem’s us from death, Vs: 4a (This is illustrated in Vs: 14-16)

3.  God crowns us with love and mercy, Vs: 4b (This is illustrated in Vs: 13)

4.  God brings contentment into our lives, Vs: 5 (This is illustrated in Vs: 20-22)

Brothers and sisters I encourage you to join with all the saints from all the ages in remembering his benefits.  Rejoice in them.  Reside in them.  Resist the Devil in them.  Reach out in them for His glory.

The One Constant (Deuteronomy 15; Psalm 102)

June 10, 2013

At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release,” Deuteronomy 15:1

“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”  Psalm 102:25

In my early years of life, it was my grandmother who was the constant in our family.  My grandmother was a character who brought us together and who kept us together.  Her life ended when she was 84.  Much in the same way my wife’s father carried this role in their family.  While he was alive the family jelled and everyone wanted to be together. He has been with the Lord for the past 18 years.

In Psalm 102 we find in the first 11 verses the struggles of the writer.  Certainly there were very few constants in his life.  However, when we arrive at Vs: 12 we see the one true constant, “But you, Oh Lord are enthroned  forever; you are remembered throughout all generations.”  Psalm 102:12

As we read the rest of the chapter we discover much about this glorious God who is our constant:

1.  He is a merciful God, Vs: 13

2.  He is a God who remembers the poor, Vs: 14-15

We are reminded that this is a God that every generation needs to know (Vs: 18)

3.  He is the God who came to live among us, Vs: 19-21-Lk 4:18-21

4.  He is the God who is always there, Vs: 25-Hebrews 1:10-12

Brothers and sisters the one constant through the ages has been our God.  His greatest expression of this truth was in the coming of Jesus who has existed for all time.  He came as our merciful God who reaches out to all who are poor in spirit.  He lived among us and now lives in us through the Holy Spirit.  He is the God who is always there.  Oh how we need to be reminded of this in this hour.

No matter how great someone one is in your life.  They cannot be the eternal constant.  Only God has this title. So accept the fallacy of others and look to the one who alone is the eternal constant.  Rest in this truth today and forever more.

 

 

The King Who Is To Be Praised (Deuteronomy 11; Psalm 95-96)

June 7, 2013

Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.” Deuteronomy 11:1

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand,”Psalm 95:6-7

“Wow, did you see the game the king (Lebron James) played last week?”  For some who read this post, you know the king.  But for others, no clue as to who this king is.  Lebron James plays basketball for the Miami Heat in the NBA.  He is the self-proclaimed King of Basketball.  Last week, I saw a picture of Lebron scoring a basketball and in the backdrop were 1000’s of people shouting praise’s to him.

Question, “Is he really a king worth following?”  Now before you get upset, I want you to know that I am not putting down this man.  I am seeking to illustrate a point.  Ours are hearts that are prone to worship kings that really cannot save us.

In Deuteronomy 11 we find Moses challenging Israel to worship the true King.  For this to happen she would have to do two things: 1. Remove the idolatrous places of worship 2.  Resolve to worship correctly before the one true God.

In Psalm 95 and 96 we are challenged to surrender our lives to this one true king.  As one does this he or she will commit themselves to the following:

1.  Declaring his glory to the nations, 96:3

2.  Declaring his glory in worship, 96:9

3.  Declaring his glory through proclamation, 96:13

Question, “In whom do the nations think you have made king of your life?”  Oh how I pray that Jesus alone is King and Jesus alone is shining through in your life and in my life.

What Does God Require? (Deuteronomy 10; Psalm 94)

June 6, 2013

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God will all of your heart and all of your soul, and to keep the commandments and statues of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good.”  Deuteronomy 10:12-13a

Almost ten years ago I stood in a long line in Budapest Hungry awaiting my turn to talk with the border patrol.  The question at hand was this; “Would I be able to enter the country with the mission team that I was leading?”  Our team was headed to Romania for the first time.  I can still remember wondering, “Did I have everything that was required of me?”  If I did not, then I would be turned away.

In Deuteronomy 10 Moses reminds the people, as he thought back to the day when God gave him the 10 commandments for the second time, “What God requires.”  Before us are simply but also profound requirements for entering into fellowship with God.  Two things stand out:

1.  We must love and serve the Lord with all we are.

Moses describes this task as follows; “Fear the Lord, walk in his ways, and serve him with all of your heart.  

2.  We must severe ourselves from loving and serving the world

Moses describes this task as follows: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”

Brothers and sisters, I confess, “I cannot live up to these task on my own!”  I do not possess within me the ability to do what God requires.  But praise be to God who has given us a new nature so that we can live up to what God requires. “But the Lord has become my strong-hold, and my God the rock of my refuge,” Psalm 94:22

This very day, I know I am in fellowship with God because Jesus has provided a refuge for our soul.  I am now in a relationship with God that makes my life an accepted life because of Jesus.  Now, I live a different desire and a different delight.  I want to do what God requires.  May this be the case for all who read this today.

And by the way, I did make it into the country!!!  We met the requirements.  And by the way, someday we will make it into another country, John 14:6!!!

It’s not what you think (Deuteronomy 9; Psalm 92-93)

June 5, 2013

“Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”  Deuteronomy 9:6

For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy,” Psalm 92:4

There are moments when I wrongly think, “God has blessed me because of who I am.”  However the opposite is the case, “God has blessed me in spite of who I am.”  This morning I was reminded of this reality as I walked through our More For Christ readings.

In Deuteronomy 9 Moses reminds Israel that her previous success and her future success was not because of her righteousness.  The fact is, she had always been in rebellion (Vs: 24). God’s favor was because of his grace.  God was faithful to his promises!!!

In Psalm 92 and 93 we are encouraged to give praise to the God who works mightily in our lives.  He is the one who brings us to righteousness and he is the one who causes us to bear fruits of righteousness throughout our lives.

This day, allow me to encourage you with the following:

1.  Spend extended time in considering what the Lord has done in your life.  (Write down what you discover)

2.  Spend extended time in praising the Lord for all He has done (Make this a regular part of your day)

3.  Spend extended time in sharing the Lord with all you meet (Let the world know of His righteousness at work in your life).

What kind of protection do you have? (Deuteronomy 8; Psalm 91)

June 4, 2013

“You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great an awesome God,”  Deuteronomy 7:21

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”  Psalm 91:7

As one get’s older he or she is often confronted with the question, “What type of life insurance do you have?”  I can still remember when I was first faced with this question.  I was in my early 30’s when a wonderful gentlemen in our church approached me with this question.  I can still remember his penetrating question, “How will you leave your family financially when you die?”

This morning I was reminded of Moses great wisdom in preparing Israel for life long after his death.  Moses challenges the people to do the following: “Remember the coming of the Lord, the leading of the Lord, the discipline of the Lord, the testimony of the Lord, and the promises of the Lord.”  This was the greatest life insurance anyone could leave for those they love.

In Psalm 91 we are reminded of this fact, “Those who are sheltered by God are under the shadow of his great care.”  This protection gives us the following benefits:

I.  True convictions to live by, Vs: 1-2

II.  Tried and true confidence in the midst of trials, Vs: 3-7

III.  Truth to stand on in the course of every day, Vs: 8-14

This is truly great protection in our lives.  However there is one disclaimer in the passage, “One must be careful to dwell in obedience to the one who is our protector.”  Satan tried to use the protection of Vs: 12 to tempt Jesus to tempt the Father (Matthew 4:6).  However Jesus stayed faithful and defeated the enemy.

Brothers and sisters may we remain faithful to our great protector.  How does this happen?  Paul gives us the answer is Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, give thanks to God the Father through Him.”  

Pay Attention, “We will not be here forever” (Deut. 7; Psalm 90)

June 3, 2013

“You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.” Deuteronomy 7:21

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom,”  Psalm 90:12

In days of excitement we get up with a great urgency.  I truly believe the new generation headed to the Promised Land must have had an urgency as Moses spoke to them in Deuteronomy 7.

I believe in days of tragedy(Such as in Oklahoma) people see the shortness of life.  Such people for the moment, pay close attention to their lives.

But for the rest of us.  It is easy to allow days, weeks, months, and even years to go by without considering the course of our lives.

I believe Moses had this in mind as God inspired him to write Psalm 90.  Honestly, I can say that I did not consider the shortness of my life when I awakened this morning.  I did not take into consideration that I now have one less time to awaken before I meet the Lord.  Soon I could be standing before the Lord.  This morning I was called to this reality.  Here is what I took away from Psalm 90 and I hope you do as well:

1.  Our God is from everlasting to everlasting, Vs: 1-2

2.  Our God is in charge of our days on this earth, Vs: 3

3.  Our God measures time differently than we do, Vs: 4

4.  Our God will judge all men at the end of time, Vs: 5-9

These truths help us to put life in perspective.  Our God is the Ancient of Days who has always existed and who is the one who gives us our existence.  Our God has a plan for our lives.  We must seek His plan and we must surrender to His plan.

The Apostle Paul taught us the depth of this in Colossians 2:6-15.  Here is the summation of this truth:  1.  By grace we are placed in God’s family.  2.  By growth we progress in God’s family.

Dear Lord, help me to honor you in every moment of every day!  With what days I have left on this earth, may I follow your every move with a longing eye and a submissive heart. May I strive to have wisdom to carry out your plans.  Thank you for including me in your plan!!!