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The Look

September 24, 2017

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The Look

We’ve most likely all experienced  “The Look”.     It comes  when we’ve flubbed  —  big time.     No words need  to be said.     We just get  “The Look”.     “The Look” speaks  for itself.     Whether it’s from a parent,  teacher,  employer,  or friend,  we get the message  —  loud and clear.

“The Look” probably says more  than any long lecture  ever could.     It sure worked  with Peter.     Peter had been so sure  he had the character  and strength  to stand up  for Jesus  in prison  and even death.     Jesus told Peter  he would deny Him  three times  before the cock crowed.

When Jesus’ words came true  a few hours later,  it still didn’t dawn  on Peter  —  until he got  “The Look”.     We read  in Luke 22:61-62,

And the Lord turned  and looked  at Peter.     And Peter remembered  the word  of the Lord,  how He had told him,  “Before a cock crows today,  you will deny Me  three times.”

And he went outside  and wept bitterly.

We,  too,  have denied Jesus  —  like Peter.     It might have been  in words,  as it was with Peter.     It might have been  by our silence,  when we know  we should have spoken up,  instead of cowering  in fear.     Or,  we might even have denied Jesus  by our actions.     When we insist  on living  in a sinful manner  that tells the world  we’re not trusting Jesus enough  to live  in the same manner  as Jesus lived,  our actions  are denying our Lord.

Have we wept bitterly  over our denial?

We need  to be like Peter.     He did not wallow  in his pathetic failure  and just feel sorry  for himself.     Peter looked  to his Lord  and remembered  that Jesus still is  and always will be  Lord of lords,  King of kings,  and God of gods.

Peter remembered the love  of Jesus  and repented  of his denial.     Then Peter remembered  the forgiveness  and salvation  that Jesus always longs  to give each  and every one  of us.

In the strength  of those eternal truths,  Peter went on  to live a life  of true devotion  and real courage  for the Lord.     Peter’s preaching  eventually led  to his death  —  tradition says  he was crucified upside down  for his faith.

All  of God’s word  gives us  “The Look”  that shows  how we,  too,  have denied  our Lord.     Like Peter,  we need  to turn back to Jesus  in repentance,  accept His loving forgiveness,  and let His word strengthen us  to live the rest  of our lives  in a stronger faith.

God will always be there  to lift us up  when we fall.     We should not refuse  His help.

As our Lord helps us up  day after day,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     Jesus is my Lord  and Savior  forever.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

.

The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

.

Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

.

How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

.

Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

.

O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

.

**************

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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 …………

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While We Were Yet Sinners

September 23, 2017

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While We Were Yet Sinners

The Greeks had some very picturesque words  to show  what they were trying to say.     One such word  was the Greek word  for “sin“.     We know  what sin is  in English.     The Greek meant exactly  what the English means  and also puts it  in a picturesque way  by saying sin  is “to miss the mark”.

What’s so bad  about missing the mark?     Does that mean sin is  not all that bad?     Not at all.     Sin is extremely bad.

If one is a soldier  in battle,  always missing the mark,  he will surely lose  the battle  —  and maybe end up dead.     While driving down a highway,  our aim is  to stay  in the right hand lane.     If we miss the mark  and wander  into the left lane,  we could end up dead.

If we are aiming  to get into heaven,  but try to get there  by hook  or by crook  —  instead of through the blood  of Jesus Christ  —  we have missed the mark  and will end up  in eternal hell.

So,  it is mighty important  that we not miss our mark  —  that we not err  or be mistaken  about the right path  to heaven  —  that we not wander  from the law  of God  or violate God’s law.      We don’t want  to be wrong  in our estimation  of how we can get  to heaven.

Paul has good news  for us  in Romans 5:8.

But God demonstrates  His own love  toward us,  in that while  we were yet sinners,  Christ died  for us.

It was while we were stubbornly devoted  to sinning our way  —  while we were constantly  missing our mark  —  while we were chained  to our sinful ways  —  while we were especially wicked  —  that God showed us  how much He loves us.     God loves us  so much  that He had the perfect,  sinless Christ die  on the cross  to pay the penalty  we owe.

When God’s love  has been so openly demonstrated  and proven  to us  in Christ’s death  and resurrection,  it would be wise  to accept His invitation  to aim  towards putting our faith  in Jesus Christ.

We will never miss our mark  for getting to heaven,  if we keep our eyes  on Jesus.     As Hebrews 12:1-2  says,

Therefore,  since we have  so great a cloud  of witnesses  surrounding us,  let us also lay aside  every encumbrance,  and the sin  which so easily entangles us,  and let us run  with endurance  the race  that is set before us,  fixing our eyes  on Jesus,  the author  and perfecter  of faith,  who for the joy set before Him  endured the cross,  despising the shame,  and has sat down  at the right hand  of the throne  of God.

Jesus is the mark  we are  to fix our eyes on.     He is the one  we don’t want  to miss  by remaining  in our sinful ways.     Our aim is faith  in the love  of God  through Jesus Christ.     As Jesus says  in John 14:6,

I am the way,  and the truth,  and the life;  no one comes  to the Father,  but through Me.

As we constantly  keep our eyes  on Jesus  and His sacrificial love  for us,  we will be able  to say,  “Hallelujah!     My Savior’s love  gives me eternal victory.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

.

The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

.

Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

.

How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

.

Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

.

O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

.

**************

.

Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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 …………

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Our King

September 22, 2017

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Our King

The prophet,  Samuel,  served as the leader  in Israel  for years.     He taught God’s word,  led the people in worship,  judged court cases,  and led in battle  as God’s representative.     When he got old,  the Israelites wanted a king,  so they could be  like other countries.     The showmanship  of royalty  can be pretty impressive.

This made Samuel very sad  and he prayed  to the LORD about it.     In 1 Samuel 8:7-8,  we read God’s answer.

And the LORD said  to Samuel,  “Listen to the voice  of the people  in regard  to all that they say  to you,  for they have not rejected you,  but  they have rejected Me  from being king  over them.

Like all the deeds  which they have done  since the day  that I brought them up  from Egypt  even to this day  —  in that they have forsaken Me  and served other gods  —  so they are doing  to you also.”

It was always God  that led Samuel  in leading the people,  whether it was in teaching,  worshiping,  leading in battle,  or judging court cases.     The people were well aware  of that.     But,  they wanted something  that looked better  in the eyes of the world.

And so,  the Israelites rejected  the LORD  as their king.

But yet,  the Bible is filled  with verses  like Psalm 95:3,

For the LORD  is a great God,  and a great King  above all gods.

The people always knew  God is  King of kings.     All that leads up  to Palm Sunday  —  the day Jesus humbly  and yet royally,  rode into Jerusalem  on a donkey.     John 12:12-16 reads,

On the next day  the great multitude  who had come  to the feast,  when they heard  that Jesus was coming  to Jerusalem,  took the branches  of the palm trees,  and went out  to meet Him,  and began to cry out,  “Hosanna!     Blessed is He  who comes  in the name  of the LORD,  even the king  of Israel.”

And Jesus,  finding a young donkey,  sat on it;  as it is written, “Fear not,  daughter of Zion;  behold your King comes sitting  on a donkey’s colt.”

These things His disciples did not understand  at the first;  but when Jesus was glorified,  then they remembered  that these things  were written  of Him,  and that they had done these things  to Him.

It was prophesied years before  in the Psalms  and by Zechariah  that all this  would happen.

So we look  at our King today.     Just as it was years ago,  many still reject Him  as their King.     The proud refuse  to sing praises  to Someone they “think”  is beneath them  —  little do they know.     In all their sinfulness, the rulers  in the world seem to feel  they make better rulers  than the King of kings.     People prefer seeing  a ”real” king  with their own eyes  — even someone  who is not so poor  and humble looking.

What do we know?     Is Jesus King  in our heart  —  as He well should be?     Just as all the prophecies  in God’s word  come true,  we will see Revelation 17:14  for ourselves,  as it says  about the end days,

These will wage war  against the Lamb,  and the Lamb  will overcome them,  because He is t he Lord of lords  and King of kings,  and those who are with Him  are the called  and chosen  and faithful.

In all His glory,  Jesus is reigning  in heaven  —  and in our hearts.     How glorious it will be  when we get to join  the throngs in heaven,  who are singing His praises  right now.

As we remember  how Jesus has always been King  and will always be King,  even we can sing  our King’s praises here  on earth.      We can sing,  “Hallelujah!     The King of kings  is King  in my heart.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

.

The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

.

Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

.

How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

.

Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

.

O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

.

**************

.

Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

.

 …………

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.

.

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That You May Remember

September 21, 2017

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That You May Remember

Most all of us could say,  “I remember  when I was a little kid,  my Dad would always say …………”      Many can remember things a particular teacher,  employer,  or friend said  years ago.     What was said  was memorable  because it was important.

Jesus said many important things  that His followers remembered  and wrote  for our benefit today.     But,  shortly before He was about to die  for our sins,  Jesus wanted His disciples  to always remember  that they would be experiencing many trials  through which they were  to stay strong  in their faith.     So,  in John 16:1-4  Jesus says,

These things  I have spoken to you,  that you may be kept  from stumbling.     They will make you outcasts  from the synagogue;  but an hour is coming  for everyone who kills you  to think  that he is offering service  to God.

And these things  they will do,  because they have not known the Father,  or Me.     But  these things I have spoken  to you,  that when their hour comes,  you may remember  that I told you  of them.

Jesus wants even us  to always remember  that being a true Christian  will not be a cake-walk.     We need  to remember this  because the truths of God  have always been opposed  since the Garden of Eden.     The devil wants everyone  to feel  that if God were really taking care of us  —  really loving us  —  we would be greatly blessed  with material goods,  health,  and fame.

The truth is  that we live  in a fallen world,  where the devil wants us  to lose faith  in the love  of God.     And he will do everything  in his power  to make us stop trusting  and loving  the Lord God Almighty.     Hence our struggles.     Our struggles will always be  in our weakest points,  where we will most likely stumble  in our faith.

Is health  really personally important?     The devil will give problems  in that area.     Is success at work desired  most of all?     That will become a place  of big struggles.     How about having  many friends?     The devil knows how  to make people avoid you  because of your faith.     Any of these situations  can cause Christians  to want to give up  on God.

That’s when we need  to remember Jesus’ words.     He told us  to expect  all sorts of problems  that will challenge  our faith.     Many Christians have suffered torture  and death  for their faith.     They’ve had to watch family members  get tortured  and killed.

Because Peter forgot Jesus’ words,  he denied our Lord  three times  during Jesus’ trial  —  even though Jesus had given him specific warnings.    This account is found  in Luke 22:31-34,

“Simon,  Simon,  behold,  Satan has demanded permission  to sift you  like wheat;  but I have prayed  for you,  that your faith  may not fail;  and you,  when once you have turned againstrengthen your brothers.”

And he said  to Him,  “Lord,  with You  I am ready to go both  to prison  and to death!”

And He said,  “I tell you,  Peter,  the cock will not crow today  until you have denied three times  that you know Me.”

Peter denied Jesus  because fear caused him  to forget  all the power he saw  in Jesus’ miracles;  he forgot Jesus’ promises;  he forgot Jesus’ warnings.

We also forget  and stumble  in our denial  of God’s love  for us.     All sorts of trials  lead us  to forget  as we become fearful  and downcast.     Therefore,  it is vital  to become grounded  in God’s word,  so that we will remember the love  and salvation  that has been given  to us  in Christ Jesus.

Jesus also prays  for us  and has promised  to never leave us  —  whatever we are going through.     We are  to be like Peter.     For every time  we have fallen,  we are to remember  the promises  of God Almighty  and turn back  to Him,  so that even after our fall,  we may strengthen our brothers.

Christ has promised  to be with us  in that also.     When Peter turned back  to the Lord,  his faith  was stronger than ever  —  tradition says  he was even crucified  upside down  for his faith.

As we continually bring to remembrance all  of God’s word  to us,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     Our LORD is forever faithful.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

.

The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

.

Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

.

How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

.

Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

.

O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

.

**************

.

Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

.

 …………

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.

.

.

 

The More Noble Minded

September 20, 2017

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The More Noble Minded

Preaching truth  has been a rather dangerous job  at times,  and often not  a popular job.     When Paul preached  to the people  of Thessalonica in Acts 17,  there were many  that accepted his preaching,  but there were others  who formed a mob bent  on doing great harm.     Friends helped Paul escape  at night  and he went  to the city of Berea,  where he began preaching  in the Jewish synagogue.

The people of Berea are described  and compared  to some people in Thessalonica  by their actions  and morals  in Acts 17:11-12.

Now these were more noble-minded  than those in Thessalonica,  for they received the word  with great eagerness,  examining the scriptures dailyto see  whether these things  were so.

Many of them  therefore believed,  along with a number  of prominent Greek women  and men.

To be noble-minded means  to have  and show  by one’s actions  that one has high moral qualities  —  high ideals  —  great character.

There is a big difference  between a people  with high moral qualities  and the people who only want  mob rule  because they are a jealous  and angry people.     The people  of Thessalonica are described  in Acts 17:5  —  “But the Jews,  becoming jealous  and taking along some wicked men  from the market place,  formed a mob  and set the city  in an uproar.”

The angry Jews  were jealous  simply because both Jews  and Greeks  were listening  to Paul.     They wanted  all the attention  for themselves  and to keep their high standing  as religious leaders  —  able to rule  over others.

They didn’t have enough of a real following  of their own,  so they went  to the market place  to gather up a bunch  of “wicked men” , who couldn’t have cared less  about listening  to God’s word.     And that’s how it often is  with those  who don’t have  high moral qualities.     They want to rule  over others  with force  and anger.

The noble-minded didn’t just listen  and follow  like a bunch of sheep.     They carefully listened  and then  checked it all out  in Scripture.     That is using decency  and common sense.

We are not  to believe everything we hear  and read.     We need  to be noble-minded  and check it out  for ourselves  in God’s word.     The proof is  in the pudding,  as they say.     And the Bible (the pudding)  has a lot of good things  to show us  about God’s love  and salvation  in Jesus Christ alone.

In Berea,  many believed  after they had checked everything out  for themselves.     As they searched scripture  and proved everything  for themselves,  they “received the word  with great eagerness”  because they could see things  for themselves.

It certainly was not  just noble-minded Jews  that came to faith.     There was also  a bunch of noble-minded Greek men  and women,  who also came  to believe  —  just because they listened  and checked things out  for themselves.

So,  it does not matter  who we are  in this world.     Whatever our background might be,  it is to our benefit  to listen  to God’s word  and spend the time  to check it out  for ourselves.

Don’t just believe  what someone else teaches.     We have been blessed  with well-preserved scriptures,  let us use them  for our eternal benefit,  so that Psalm 117:2  and many other verses  rightly say,  “The truth of the LORD is everlasting.”      Why be like a mobster,  blindly  and insensibly  fighting things unknown.      Diligently find out  and be at peace.

Romans 10:17  —  “So faith comes  from hearing,  and hearing  by the word  of Christ.”

With a joyful faith  like the Bereans,  we will be able  to nobly say,  “Hallelujah!     Our Lord loves us  and teaches us,  so that  we are saved.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

.

The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

.

Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

.

How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

.

Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

.

O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

.

**************

.

Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

.

 …………

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.

.

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Seek the LORD

September 19, 2017

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Seek the LORD

We have time restrictions  on a lot of things  in life.     A certain sale  will last only three days.     A school term paper  must be handed in  on the set date.     A project at work  must be completed  at a certain time.     Your flight will leave  at 10:45 a.m.  whether you are there  or not.

Every one of these situations  gives us a sense  of urgency  to work diligently  towards our goal.     The same sense  of urgency needs  to be understood  in our relationship  to our Lord and Savior.     We are not given  all eternity  to decide  to repent  of our sins  and ask  for our Savior’s forgiveness.     We only have this short lifetime  and no one knows  when his last day  will be.

And,  we know the old saying,  “Time flies  when you’re having fun.”     There are tons  of activities  to keep us distracted  and interested  in all sorts of things  —  whether it be at work,  school,  or a leisure activity.

These can all be good  and worthwhile activities.     But,  if we are using them  as a scapegoat  to avoid looking  at our sin problem,  we’re not doing ourselves  any good.     We can only run away  from God  for so long  —  then will come our judgment day  —  whether we like it  or not.

Are we prepared  to meet our Eternal Judge?     If we daily confess our sins  and ask for forgiveness,  trusting  in the merits  of Jesus Christ  to wash away all our sins  —  then,  yes,  we are ready  to meet our Eternal Judge  and recognize Him  as our Savior  and heavenly Father,  who has loved us  from the beginning.

But,  if we continually refuse  to meet God  in prayer  and confession,  despising the idea  of studying His word  as a means  of drawing near  to Him  in close fellowship,  then we are most likely  to have a serious eternal problem.     It would be then  that we would need  to get a grip  on what we are doing  to ourselves  eternally.

God knows  how we are made,  since He is our Creator.     And so,  our LORD willingly gives us  many opportunities  to come into fellowship  with Him  and honestly accept  His offer  of love and salvation.     It is up to us  to take Him up  on His generous  and empathetic offer.

Because God knows  our lost condition  and loves us so dearly,  He implores us  in Isaiah 55:6-9  to start having fellowship  with Him,  because it is the right thing  to do.     Let His love open up our hearts  and cause us  to willingly turn  to Him  as He says to us all,

Seek the LORD  while He may be found;  call upon Him  while He is near.     Let the wicked  forsake his way,  and the unrighteous man  his thoughts;  and let him return  to the LORD,  and He will have compassion  on him;  and to our God,  for He will abundantly pardon.

“For My thoughts  are not your thoughts,  neither are your ways  My ways,”  declares the LORD.     “For as the heavens  are higher than the earth,  so are My ways  higher than your ways,  and My thoughts  than your thoughts.”

In other words,  although we have a time limit  for continuing in sin,  God still loves us dearly  —  even though we have strayed (big time).      God does not think  or act  like a sinful man  —  so we have no reason  to be suspicious  of His loving intentions  for us.     Jesus is proof  of God’s love  and good intentions.

With this invitation,  let us get our lives  straightened out.     Then we will know the peace  of resting  in our Lord’s love.     That is just where He wants us  —  at rest  in Him.

At rest  in our Savior’s arms,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     Thank You,  Savior,  for your faithful patience  with us all.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

.

The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

.

Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

.

How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

.

Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

.

O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

.

**************

.

Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

I Was Like a Beast Before You

September 18, 2017

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I Was Like a Beast Before You

Sometimes  life just does not seem fair.     The crooks  get away  with everything.     The liars  are believed  as they arrogantly smirk.     The dishonest rich  get richer  and the poor get poorer.

We can get to feeling  so dumb  for hanging onto our faith,  because we seem  to have more problems  than blessings.

None of this is new  in the world.     Way back in the days  of King David  and Solomon,  a leader  of the temple choir,  Asaph,  wrote a psalm  about his feelings  regarding this seeming unfairness.

Compare what Asaph said  years ago  in Psalm 73  to what life sometimes seems like  today.     When Asaph says  he feels  like a beast  before the Lord,  he means  he feels dumb  and helpless  —  like cattle  or sheep  —  with no say  in the matter.     That’s how a child  of God  might feel  at times.

Psalm 73

Surely God is good  to Israel,
To those  who are pure  in heart!

But as for me,  my feet came close  to stumbling,
My steps  had almost slipped.

For I was envious  of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity  of the wicked.

For there are no pains  in their death,
And their body  is fat.
They are not in trouble  as other men,
Nor are they plagued  like mankind.

Therefore  pride is their necklace;
The garment  of violence  covers them.
Their eye bulges  from fatness;
The imaginations  of their heart  run riot.

They mock  and wickedly speak  of oppression;
They speak  from on high.
They have set their mouth  against the heavens,
And their tongue parades  through the earth.

Therefore his people return  to this place,
And waters  of abundance are drunk  by them.

They say,  “How does God know?
And is there knowledge  with the Most High?”

Behold,  these are the wicked;
And always at ease,  they have increased  in wealth.

Surely in vain  I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands  in innocence;
For I have been stricken  all day long
And chastened  every morning.

If I had said,  “I will speak thus,”
Behold,  I would have betrayed the generation  of Your children.

When I pondered  to understand this,
It was troublesome  in my sight
Until I came  into the sanctuary  of God;
Then I perceived  their end.

Surely  You set them  in slippery places;
You cast them down  to destruction.
How they are destroyed  in a moment!
They are utterly swept away  by sudden terrors!

Like a dream  when one awakes,
O Lord,  when aroused,  You will despise  their form.
When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
Then  I was senseless  and ignorant;
I was  like a beast  before You.

Nevertheless  I am continually  with You;
You have taken hold  of my right hand.
With Your counsel  You will guide me,
And afterward  receive me  to glory.

Whom have I in heaven  but You?
And besides You,  I desire nothing  on earth.
My flesh  and my heart  may fail,
But God  is the strength  of my heart  and my portion forever.

For,  behold,  those who are far  from You  will perish;
You have destroyed  all those  who are unfaithful  to You.

But as for me,  the nearness of God  is my good;
I have made  the Lord GOD  my refuge,
That I may tell  of all Your works.

With Asaph,  we need  to always remember  the great love  of God Almighty  for us.     What we experience  in this world  is only a testing ground  for our faith  in our Savior’s love  and eternal salvation.     The wicked will remain clueless  until their judgment day,  so they will end up  with nothing  but torment  for their faithless ways.

But,  in our anxiety,  do we remember the love  given to us  on the cross?     That is worth more  than anything  in this world.     Don’t give it up  for whatever fleeting pleasures  this world might try  to con us with.

Let us not “slip”  as Asaph said he “almost slipped.”

When we steady ourselves  and focus  on the truths  of God’s love,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     Thank you LORD  for keeping us  near You  because we are simple  and so in need  of your guidance.     Thank You  for faithfully leading us  to eternal life.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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