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Make Ready the Way

August 31, 2016

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Make Ready  the Way

Each one  of us  has a heart  of sin.     Psalm 14:2-3  shows us,

The LORD  has looked down  from heaven  upon the sons  of men
To see  if there are any  who understand,
Who seek  after God.      

They have all  turned aside,  together  they have become corrupt;
There is no one  who does good,  not even one.

All of our days  have sins  of various sorts.     We can’t help ourselves.     We need  to realize that.     But,  in the same breath,  we need  to think about the next verse  —  Psalm 14:4-5,

Do all  the workers  of wickedness  not know,
Who eat up  My people  as they eat bread,
And do  not call  upon the Lord?
There they are  in great dread,
For God  is  with the righteous generation.

There are sinners  —  just like everyone  who has ever lived  —  who love the LORD  and trust  in Him.     In spite  of our sins,  the LORD  looks upon us  as righteous  because  of our faith.     “God  is with”  all  who have faith  in Him.     We are simply  not counted  with the unbelieving sinners  in this world.

All this is why  Luke 3:4  reports  that John the Baptist preached,

Make ready  the way  of the LORD,
Make His paths straight.

John the Baptist preached repentance.     Repentance  and faith  in Christ Jesus are  the way  of the LORD”.      God wants us  to be wise enough  to see  our sins  —  realize how evil  they are  —  realize how sin separates us  from God  —  and realize  how faith  draws us near  to the heart  of God,  our Creator Redeemer.

To  make ready  the way  of the LORD”  is a daily awareness  of our sins.     By faith,  we always acknowledge  our sinfulness  —  and trust  in God’s forgiving love.     By faith  we are righteous  in God’s eyes.

Free  in Christ,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  thank You  for helping us  in our need.”

Love,
Margaret

.

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

Pray for our country.

.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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

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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

.

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

.

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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He Who Teaches Man Knowledge

August 30, 2016

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He  Who Teaches Man  Knowledge

People  have gained so much  “knowledge”  since the beginning  of this world.     There is “knowledge”  about raising cattle,  sheep,  and other livestock  —  “knowledge”  about what plant life is safe  to eat  and how to create  the best growing environment  for each edible plant  —  the invention  of the wheel  —  mining various ores  —  figuring out time by the movement of the stars  —  creating all sorts  of machinery  (and rockets)  —  computer technology…….     There seems  to be no end  to all the  “knowledge”  mankind  has learned  since the beginning  of time.

How do people gain  so much  “knowledge”?      I’ve never invented anything.     I have no clue  as to how  one could start figuring out time  by keeping track  of the stars.     How about coming up  with ideas  for cell phones,  computers,  airplanes,  etc.,  etc.,  etc.     Everything  from farming  to building roads  to heart surgery  to nuclear power  takes a lot of  “knowledge”.

Mankind  is not great  in-and-of-itself.     “Knowledge”  of every sort  is a gift  from God.     When the psalmist  was thinking about how smart  people imagine they are  as they go about  with their wickedness  and arrogance,  he reminded them  in Psalm 94:9-11,

He who planted  the ear,  does He not hear?
He  who formed the eye,  does He not see?
He who chastens  the nations,  will He not rebuke,
Even He  who teaches man knowledge?
The LORD knows  the thoughts  of man,
That they are  a mere breath.

God  has allowed  and gifted people  to have “knowledge”  of all sorts.     But,  the only life-giving  “knowledge”  is to know  that the LORD  alone  is God  over all  —  and there is no other.     When we honestly  know the love  of God  through salvation  in Christ Jesus alone,  we have  the “knowledge”  that is most needful.

Grateful  for the blessing  of God’s word,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for the knowledge  of Your love  and salvation through faith  in Christ.”

Love,
Margaret

.

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

Pray for our country.

.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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

.

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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All Who Desire to Live Godly in Christ Jesus

August 29, 2016

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All Who Desire  to Live Godly  in Christ Jesus

Those  who have come  to know  the awesome love  of God  in Christ  love God  and “desire  to live godly  in Christ Jesus”.     But,  it doesn’t take long  before one realizes  the truth  of  2 Timothy 3:12-13,

Indeed,  all who desire  to live godly  in Christ Jesus  will be persecuted.     But  evil men  and imposters  will proceed  from bad  to worse,  deceiving  and being deceived.

A sincere Christian  might find this appalling.     Why should they be “persecuted”  for being good?     Jesus gives us  the answer  in John 15:20,

A slave  is not greater  than his master.     If they persecuted Me,  they will also  persecute you;  if they kept My word,  they will keep yours also.

This is all according  to biblical prophecies  like 2 Timothy 3:13 above,  “But  evil men  and imposters  will proceed  from bad  to worse,  deceiving  and being deceived.”     So,  God is not keeping  the persecution  of His children  a secret.     It is spoken of  throughout the Bible.     But,  with that  we have the comforting promise  in Hebrews 13:5,

I will never desert you,  nor will I ever forsake you.

And,  there is even more.     In His sermon on the mount,  Jesus said  in Matthew 5:10-12,

Blessed are those  who have been persecuted  for the sake  of righteousness,  for theirs is  the kingdom  of heaven.     Blessed are you  when people insult you  and persecute you,  and falsely say all kinds  of evil  against you  because  of Me.     Rejoice  and be glad,  for your reward  in heaven  is great;  for in the same way  they persecuted the prophets  who were before you.

Even though Jesus  was sinless,  His persecution  was horrible  and unjust.     We are not  to expect bliss  on earth  because “evil men  and imposters  will proceed  from bad  to worse”.     Heaven is our home.

Standing on  the eternal promises  of God,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord Jesus,  thank You  for being with us  all the way.”

Love,
Margaret

.

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

Pray for our country.

.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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

.

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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Be Shrewd As Serpents and Innocent As Doves

August 28, 2016

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Post 2014 08 24 Christ at the door 2

Be Shrewd  As Serpents  and Innocent  As Doves

In Matthew  chapter 10,  we read  about Jesus sending  His disciples out  to preach  throughout the land  of Israel.     They would be preaching  to people who were acquainted  with God’s word  in the Old Testament.     Jesus wanted His disciples  to depend  upon God  to support them,  so they were not to carry along  extra supplies.     If a town accepted  God’s word  in their preaching,  they were  to give that town  a greeting  of peace  as they shared God’s word.     But,  if a town rejected  God’s message  of salvation,  they were to “shake off the dust  of your feet”,  and go preach elsewhere.     Those who rejected  God’s salvation  through faith  in Jesus  were condemning themselves  to eternal judgment.

Jesus was sending His disciples out  to preach  to those who might hate them  and try  to ruin them.     So,  Jesus warned His disciples  in Matthew 10:16,

Behold,  I send you out  as sheep  in the midst  of wolves;  so  be shrewd  as serpents  and innocent  as doves.

Jesus was well aware  that He was sending His disciples out  to preach  in places  where people might hate them.     The possible dangers  were not  to stop them  —  even though they might appear as vulnerable  “sheep  in the midst  of wolves”.     The hatred towards them  would be strong  —  so,  in the middle  of their dangerous situations,  they needed  to “be shrewd  as serpents  and innocent  as doves”.

The disciples needed  to be wise  in realizing  what kind of people  they were dealing with  —  people who knew God’s word,  but rejected most all  of it.     In the same breath,  the disciples needed  to keep their personal lives  in the love  of God  —  through faith,  hope,  and love.

Christians today  are also  to share God’s word  in a dangerous world  that wants  to destroy them.     In faith  and love  we share God’s word  in all its truth.     We might be hated  for that,  but we are  in God’s eternal care.

Sharing God’s word wisely,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for Your awesome love.”

Love,
Margaret

.

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

Pray for our country.

.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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

.

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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

By the Works of the Law

August 27, 2016

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Post 2014 12 01 DSC00118

By the Works  of the Law

Back in my day,  we used to get a grade  for  “Conduct”  in the classroom.     I don’t know  if they do that any more because it might not be  politically correct  these days.     Our conduct  in all  of life  is so important,  because it shows  either a love  of God  and man  —  or an irreverence  for God  and disrespect  of man.     We either  respect  the discipline  we’re given  —  or rebel  against every sense  of decency.

We all need  to respect  God’s laws  so that our civilization  can be civilized.     We are all accountable  to God,  our eternal Judge.     But, Romans 3:20  reminds us,

By the works  of the Law  no flesh  will be justified  in His sight.

That is stated many times  throughout the Bible  because God wants us  to know  that we are saved  by faith.     No matter how hard  we try,  we are always sinners.     The LORD  is fully aware of that.     So,  in God’s eternal plan  of salvation  through Jesus alone,  God lovingly  has mercy  on all  who trust  in Him,  as  Romans 3:24  promises  that we are all,

…Being justified  as a gift  by His grace  through  the redemption  which is  in Christ Jesus.

God’s grace  has gifted us  with eternal redemption  —  just because we believe  and trust  in His salvation  through Christ alone.

When God lovingly forgives  all our sins,  He justifies us  —  He says our faith  makes everything right  in His sight,  because we had  the love  and faith  to believe  in His promises.     Love  and faith  are what God wants  from all His children.

Ever so glad  for the gifts  of justification  and forgiveness,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for saving us in the one and only possible way  —  through faith  in Christ Jesus.”

Love,
Margaret

.

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

Pray for our country.

.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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

.

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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Remove the False Way From Me

August 26, 2016

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Post 2014 09 05 IMG_2002

Remove  the False Way  From Me

All sorts  of worldly influences  lead us away  from God’s truths.     Besides the sins  of hate,  murder,  lies,  thievery,  and other things  of that kind,  there are sins  that are hidden  from the sinner.     We sinners might even feel  quite righteous  in these hidden sins.

Psalm 119  speaks  about these sins  and then prays  in verses 29-30,

Remove the false way  from me,
And graciously  grant me  Your law.
I have chosen  the faithful way:
I have placed  Your ordinances  before me.

The psalmist  had been talking  about meditating  on God’s ways  of doing things.     He wanted  to understand  the right way  to be  in this life.     Because God is  the one and only  holy LORD over all,  he wanted  to be right  in God’s sight.

Realizing his utter sinfulness,  he asked God to,  “Remove the false way  from me”.

People  in the world  have come up with all sorts  of “false” teachings  about God’s word.     They add to it  —  and ignore  or deny  other parts of it.     The psalmist  didn’t want  to get trapped  in any such “false” teachings.     He wanted  to just abide  in God’s true teachings  —  to understand  God’s teachings  in His word  —  in the Bible.     That is what God wants His children  to study  and meditate upon.

So,  the psalmist told God he had  “chosen the faithful way”  —  God’s ways  —  but  he wanted  to be real sure God would faithfully  “remove the false way”.     It is so easy  to get trapped  by “false” teachings  when we don’t take time  to read the Bible  —  God’s word.     We all need  to pray daily  for God’s help  in getting rid  of worldly notions.

Happy  in the truths  of God’s word,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for showing us  that Your word  is eternal  and that You will lead us  in Your truths.”

Love,
Margaret

.

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

Pray for our country.

.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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

.

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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Make Me Understand

August 25, 2016

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Post 2015 07 18 IMG_1439

Make Me Understand

Being able  to “understand”  clears up  a whole lot  of problems  and frustrations.     It doesn’t matter  if it’s a do-it-yourself project at home  —  a math problem  —  a social problem  —  or God’s ways  with us,  His children.     We need understanding  in order  to resolve conflicts  in our minds  and come  to the right conclusion.

God allows us  to be confronted  with all sorts  of challenges,  problems,  and frustrations  in this life  —  and these   are  to be seen  as learning tools,  to help us grow  in faith,  hope,  and love.     God is our Teacher  looking to help us be the very best  we can be.

We need  to be willing students  —  willing to accept our Teacher’s discipline  and lessons  in life.     Because life’s lessons are often very hard,  we need  to trust the LORD’s leading.     And  because we come upon situations  where we lack understanding,  we need  to ask  for God’s assistance.

The psalmist did just that  in Psalm 119:27  when he prayed,

Make me understand  the way  of Your precepts,
So I will meditate  on Your wonders.

When we “understand”  why and how  God’s ways  of faith,  hope,  and love  are so very good  for us,  we begin  to think  (meditate)  about all the marvelous things  God does for us  in love.     We see how  all the troubles  He has led us through  have  in some miraculous way  actually been a blessing  in disguise.

God knows how  to work all things  for our good  in the end.     It’s really awesome  —  and we’ll never really figure out how He managed everything  —  but  it sure is pleasant  to “meditate”  on all the good  God has done  for us.     We learn  to trust  and obey.     Understanding this  clears a lot  of confusion.

Trusting God’s loving wisdom,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Oh,  how You do all things well,  LORD!”

Love,
Margaret

.

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

Pray for our country.

.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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

.

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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