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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

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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

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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

.

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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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

.

 …………

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Remove the False Way From Me

August 26, 2016

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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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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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Whom Have You Reproached and Blasphemed?

August 24, 2016

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Post 2013 04 29 IMG_0951

Whom  Have You Reproached  and Blasphemed?

Back in Isaiah’s day,  Sennacherib,  the king  of Assyria,  was wanting  to conquer Israel,  just out of greed  and hatred towards  the LORD.    He had already conquered  other countries  and was getting  a very arrogant attitude  towards those  he despised.     He felt the LORD  was no better  than any of the other idols  of the countries  he had conquered.     He also felt  that his chosen idol,  Nisroch,  was more powerful,  and was giving him success.

When Hezekiah,  king of Israel,  prayed,  God had a message given  to Sennacherib.     In Isaiah 37:23,  God asked Sennacherib,

Whom  have you reproached  and blasphemed?
And against whom  have you raised  your voice
And haughtily  lifted up  your eyes?
Against the Holy One  of Israel !

Sennacherib  was nothing  but a mere man  —  born to die.     God is the One  who gave him breath.     It is stupid  to “reproach”  and  “blaspheme”  the Creator  of all things.     Even though Sennacherib  had heard  of the mighty things  God had done  in freeing Israel  from slavery,  he still dared  to challenge God Almighty.     But,  God reminded him  in Isaiah 37:28,

But  I know  your sitting down
And your going out  and your coming in
And your raging  against Me.

There is absolutely nothing  we can hide  from the LORD.     He knows  our every thought.     To put Sennacherib down,  that night  God’s angel killed 185,000  of his soldiers.     Sennacherib  went back  to Assyria  where his own sons killed him,  while he was worshiping his idol.     His haughty raging led  to his demise.

Today,  when we see people  choosing other gods  of various sorts  —  and reproaching Jesus  —  they are making a choice  to despise  their own Creator Redeemer.     They are refusing  their only chance  of salvation  and eternal life.     Let us examine  our reasoning  and find out  how the LORD  has proven  His loving faithfulness,  almighty power,  and desire  to save us.

Then,  with reverence,   we can say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  have mercy.”

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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Sowing and Reaping in Life

August 23, 2016

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Sowing  and Reaping  in Life

Some people are sure  that their lives  of hatred,  jealousy,  greed,  and lust  will reap them  the benefits  of all that is good.     But,  God tells us differently.     Galatians 6:7-8  warns,

Do not be deceived,  God is not mocked;  for whatever a man sows,  this he will also reap.     For the one  who sows  to his own flesh  will from the flesh  reap corruption,  but the one  who sows  to the Spirit  will from the Spirit  reap  eternal life.

Many passages throughout scripture  warn us about the evils  of hatred,  jealousy,  greed,  and lust.     We’re not getting away  with anything  when we live out our hatreds,  jealousies,  greeds,  and lusts.     All  of these evils  will condemn us eternally  in the end.     These evils only show  Satan’s control over our lives  in this world.

But,  God wants every single one  of us  to turn away  from these evils  and allow Him  and His word  to guide all  of our living.     That means confessing our sins  to God  and accepting  the forgiveness  that He lovingly wants  to give us  through faith  in Christ Jesus.     From there  we are to abide  in God’s word  and let that word  teach us  God’s ways  —  the ways  of faith,  hope,  and love.

We need the common sense  of remembering  that weed seeds  produce nothing  but weeds  —  and good seeds produce  the goodness  of grains,  vegetables,  fruits,  and all that is good.     Good seeds satisfy us  in the end.     Weed seeds  bring nothing but frustration  and evils.     We cannot live forever  on evil.

We can be  so thankful  that God willingly helps us  to sow  good seed  to the Spirit.     In thanksgiving,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for giving us  the good seed  in Your word.”

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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Whoever Exalts Himself Shall Be Humbled

August 22, 2016

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Post 2012 03 07 IMG_1041

Whoever Exalts Himself  Shall Be Humbled

People  exalt themselves  in all sorts  of situations.     It happens in sports,  academics,  business situations,  leadership positions,  and even in one’s personal daily life.     Some exalt themselves  for being “good,  law-abiding citizens”  as they feel  they are working their way  into heaven.     They look down on others  whom they deem  to be more sinful  than they are  —  and foolishly pride themselves  on what they consider  their good aspects.

When Jesus pointed out this fault  in the scribes  and Pharisees,  He then admonished  His followers  in Matthew 23:11-12,

But  the greatest  among you  shall be your servant.     Whoever exalts himself  shall be humbled;  and whoever humbles himself  shall be exalted.

All those  who are proud  and feel they are above  someone else  “shall be humbled”.     It is God  who brings  the proud  down  to the reality  of what they really are  in the eyes  of the Most Holy LORD.     God disciplines  (humbles)  us  in whatever way  is appropriate  in our situation.     But,  we need  to listen  and lovingly obey,  so that God’s discipline  does us  some good.     We need  to remember Hebrews 12:6,

For those whom the LORD loves  He disciplines,
And He scourges  every son  whom He receives.

It is in love  that God  “disciplines”  and  “humbles”  His children,  so they might  humbly turn  from their sins  and finally be saved  unto eternal life  —  where they will be “exalted”  in God’s ways  in heaven.

The bottom line is to humbly  be God’s “servant”  by lovingly  serving those  around us.     We serve  because we know  God loves us  and those around us.

Happy in God’s love,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You for loving  and disciplining us  as Your own dear children.”

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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