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Encourage One Another

May 21, 2017

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Encourage One Another

I know  that the early Christians felt  that they were living  in the end times  and that Judgment Day  would come  in their life time  or in a relatively short time.     In some ways  they were very right.     They were living  in the beginning  of the end.     That puts us today  so very much nearer  to the big “The End”.

Those early Christians felt  a very urgent need  to encourage one another  because of the afflictions  and death threats they were experiencing.     When one gets to thinking about it,  things haven’t changed.     Christians in various parts  of the world today  are being imprisoned,  tortured  and killed  for their faith.

Here in the United States  there are very real afflictions  from those who want  to change the definition of marriage,  those who want  to force Christians  to accept all aberrant life styles,  those who say  “true Christians”  will realize that Jesus is not  the only way  to eternal life,  etc.,  etc.,  etc.

Every one of these threats  for us  to become “politically correct”  in this modern world  is actually an attack  on God’s word  and our faith.    They are ways  to water down the truths  of God  and instill evil  into the church.

These are the means  Satan is using  to take God away  from our children.     It seems  to be working.     More and more churches  are making official statements  that accept  these heresies as “truth”.

Now what can we do  to encourage our children  —  our grandchildren,  friends  and relatives?     Do we care  whether or not  they get duped  into accepting  these fallacies?

What can we do?    Each of us  is only one Joe  or Josephine.     There are so many heretics  and we can’t change them.

God doesn’t ask us  to change them.     God simply wants us  to encourage one another  in the truth.     We need  to remain strong  in the truth.     How?

Paul says  in 1 Thessalonians 5:11“Then encourage one another  and strengthen one another  just as  you are doing.”     How?

By sharing God’s truths  with one another.     You can do this  in one-on-one situations every day  of your life.     There is no end  to the encouragement  the people around us need  from day to day.

Each one of us  has experienced the love  of our Lord  in various ways.     As we grow  in faith,  God shows us  some very beautiful truths  about what He has done  for us.     We need  to share those truths  for the sake  of our children,  family  and friends.     When we come to realize  something very special  about God,  we don’t keep it  to ourselves.     We share it  to encourage others.     Others need you  to share  with them.

In the early church  everybody  —  that’s everybody  —  took part  in sharing God’s word  in some way  or another.     They had  a much less formal worship service.     Back in those days,  even speaking  in different languages  was a gift  God gave  to help spread the gospel,  but it was not  the preferred way.

Here’s Paul’s word  to you  in 1 Corinthians 14:24-26  to explain  how you should share,  “But if all speak God’s Word  and some unbeliever  or ordinary person comes in,  all convince him  of his sin  and all examine him.    The secrets of his heart are shown  and so he bows down  with his face  on the ground,  worships God,  and declares,  ‘God is certainly here  among you.’     What should you do,  then,  my fellow Christians?    When you meet,  everyone is ready  with a song,  something to teach,  some truth  from God,  another language,  or an explanation.    Do it all to help one another grow.”

In other words,  all should speak  God’s word  so that unbelievers  will come to understand  God’s salvation  from sin.     All should help one another grow  in faith  by sharing songs,  teachings,  truths,  and explanations.     “All”  is a mighty big word  because it doesn’t leave anyone out.

Don’t think your words  won’t be powerful  in helping someone  out there.    It is God  who uses our words  to encourage others  in His truths.     You don’t have to  have perfect English  or some sort  of college degree.

Our occupations and talents  are gifts  from God.     Use your special gifts  in this life  to reach others  in ways  that no one else can  because your experience  is special.

As God told Moses  in Exodus 4:11-12“Who has made  man’s mouth?     Or who makes him dumb  or deaf,  or seeing  or blind?     Is it not I,  the LORD?     Now then go,  and I,  even I,  will be with your mouth,  and teach you  what you are  to say.”

God can embolden us  to encourage one another  in the truth.     Then we can say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for sharing Your word with us.”

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

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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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Do Not Lose Heart

May 20, 2017

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Do Not Lose Heart

Sometimes  Christians kinda  feel like  giving up  on the witnessing  of their faith.     They reason  that they will never reach more  than the few people  in their immediate surroundings  —  and that  even in those circles,  very few want  to talk about salvation  through faith  in Christ.     Besides,  they reason  that ordinary Christians  don’t have a “ministry”  of any sort  —  that’s not our “responsibility“.

Really?     Christ actually wants  every single Christian  to be a witness  for Him  —  in spite  of the fact  that most people don’t want  to hear  any sort  of “gospel” message.     But,  the bottom line is  that our whole lives  are a witness,  even when we’re not talking  about salvation  —  and especially  when we’re not talking  about salvation.

If we’re in the habit  of using foul words,  slandering,  lying,  “taking” things,  being unkind,  being impatient,  driving recklessly,  being belligerent,  being loveless,  twisting words,  etc.,  we are being shameful witnesses  of the faith  we claim  —  actually,  we would be witnessing against  the love  of God  in Christ.

Those who do appreciate  God’s love  and sacrifice  for all  of us  should “not lose heart”  as they daily face the sinfulness  of this world.     It doesn’t matter how the world chooses  to act,  Christians live  for God.

The apostle Paul  faced much more difficult situations  in his ministry,  so he says  to all Christians  down through the ages,  in 2 Corinthians 4:1-4,

Therefore,  since we have this ministry,  as we received mercy,  we  do not lose heart,  but we have renounced  the things hidden  because of shame,  not walking  in craftiness  or adulterating the word  of God,  but by the manifestation  of truth  commending ourselves  to every man’s conscience  in the sight  of God.    

And even if  our gospel  is veiled,  it is veiled  to those  who are perishing,  in whose case  the god  of this world  has blinded the minds  of the unbelieving  so that they might not see  the light  of the gospel  of the glory  of Christ,  who is the image  of God.

Christians are  to  “not lose heart”  in any  of their life circumstances,  because they are serving the LORD  of all  with their whole lives.     They are witnessing  to God’s love  with their honesty,  truthfulness,  kindness,  patience,  on-going love,  goodness,  and trust  in the LORD.     We are  in God’s care  as we serve Him.

Knowing God’s love,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for Your mercy.     Let us always serve You  with true hearts.”

Love,
Margaret

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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

.

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

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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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See for Yourself

May 19, 2017

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See for Yourself

Have you ever played the game “Telephone”?     In it,  everyone sits  in a big circle.     Then someone writes down  a message  and whispers that message  to the person sitting next  to them.      Each person  in the circle  takes their turn  whispering that message,  exactly as they heard it,  to the person next  to them.      Then the last person  proclaims the message  out loud.

What a surprise as it is  compared with the original written message!      No one can figure out  how the message  became so changed.      Everyone “claims”  to have repeated it  exactly as heard.      And so gossip  (hearsay)  goes…

It is possible  for even God’s word  to be radically changed,  IF people today  don’t go straight  to the source  (the Bible)  and find out  for themselves  what was originally said.      That is why  we see so many cults today  —  people don’t check things out  for themselves.

What good is hearsay?      We each need to read  and learn first-hand  about God’s faithfulness,  love,  salvation,  forgiveness,  and patience  with each and every one  of us.      Don’t leave all the work  of reading,  studying,  and searching  up to someone else.      They might be  all messed up.     They might just be  on an ego trip.

It is our personal responsibility  to purposely  look through the Bible  for evidence  of God’s love  for each of us,  (personally  –  really personally)  realizing  that the books  in the Bible  were written hundreds  and even thousands  of years apart,  by many different prophets.      But,  no matter when written,  they all agree  with all the other books  in the Bible  and with other archeological records.

Even better than that,  the Bible shows  how God made a promise  of salvation  in the very beginning  (in the Garden of Eden)  and then the Bible shows  every single step  God took  throughout history  to keep that promise  of salvation,  word for word,  in the birth,  life,  suffering,  death,  and resurrection  of Jesus Christ.     There simply is nothing  more marvelous!      And it is pure truth  right down  through the ages  for you  and for me.

Do you really know  just how deeply  God loves you  —  even though other people  may not see you  as particularly lovable?     You’ve got to find out  for sure.

If you only believe  what someone else has said  about God’s love  for you,  your faith  will be weak.     You might be tempted  to think,  “Well,  what do they know.     They don’t know  ‘my’ sins.     They don’t even know  ‘my’ doubts  and fears  or the horrendously rough times  I’ve had.     It’s easy  for God to love ‘them’;  BUT ‘me’?…….    That doesn’t seem possible.”

So, not reading the Bible  will cause even you  to be a weak Christian  —  exactly the way  Satan wants  to keep you in his realm  of doubts  and fears.

Find out  for yourself  the strength,  power  and love of God  over thousands of years.     Delve into the Bible  like a defense lawyer  —  searching,  digging out details,  comparing verse to verse,  even though they were written thousands  of years apart.     Prove it  for yourself.     Then,  erase your wonderings.

You will see  that Psalm 119:89,  “Forever,  O LORD,  Your word  is settled  in heaven,”  is true.

Then you will see  the awesome wonders  and truths  of Isaiah 40:8  for your own personal life,  “The grass withers,  the flower fades,  but, the word  of our God  stands forever.”

It’s like an old computer  learning ad  we used to see  on TV.     The mother says,  “My daughter knows a lot more  about computers  than me  and she’s only three.     Now, I’ve learned a lot  about computers  and I had a lot  of fun.”

We can also have  a lot of fun learning  to use  all sorts of Bible study aids  —  like Strong’s Concordance,  which is a language dictionary.     It gives the definitions  of the Bible’s  Greek and Hebrew words  that have been translated  into English  for us.     That will give us  greater depth  into what the Hebrew and Greek writers  were saying  when they wrote the Bible.

There are a number  of Bible study web sites  on which one can use  Strong’s Concordance  for free.     Or,  if you prefer,  you can get our own hard copy  at most Bible book stores.

Then,  at your leisure,  you can search out  the beauties  of God’s word  for yourself.

What a comfort  we can find  in the Bible,  as our heavenly Father  speaks straight  to us.     2 Timothy 3:16-17“All Scripture  is inspired  by God  and profitable  for teaching,  for reproof,  for correction,  for training  in righteousness,  that the man of God  may be adequate,  equipped  for every good work.”

It’s God talking directly  to us,  training us.     Listen.     Don’t let anyone else  take you  off course.    Then in relief,  we can say,  “Hallelujah!”

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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Waiting for the LORD

May 18, 2017

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Waiting for the LORD

King David led a lifetime full  of all sorts  of battles  besides having faced Goliath.     He not only fought enemy neighboring countries,  but he dealt with King Saul trying  to kill him  and his own son Absalom  trying to take over  the kingdom.      There was one conflict  after another,  without end.     Sound familiar?

Facing such odds  might be a bit discouraging,  but David remained strong,  always praising  and giving thanks.     David shows his faith  in the LORD  through the many Psalms he wrote  as he worshipfully extolled God’s faithful help.      Psalm 37:7-9 summarizes only one aspect  of David’s trust:

Rest in the LORD  and wait patiently  for Him;
Fret not yourself  because of him  who prospers  in his way,
Because of the man  who carries out  wicked schemes.      

Cease from anger,  and forsake wrath;
Fret not yourself,  it leads only to evildoing.      

For evildoers  will be cut off,
But those who wait  for the LORD,  they will inherit the land.

How could David rest  and fret not?     How can we stop anger  over wickedness?      By realizing  the LORD takes care  of all those  who take delight  in His love  and salvation.    (Psalm 37:4)

The wicked never give themselves a chance  to learn  to trust God  because they are so busy  doing evil  and reaping consequences.     Then they despise  and blame God  for their troubles,  creating a never-ending circle  of sinning  and blaming God.     They refuse  to accept responsibility  for their actions,  growing in bitter hatred  and intentions  of “getting even”.     There is no godly repentance  in their hearts.

If we find ourselves learning  to lean more and more  on the LORD’s ways  and waiting patiently  for God  to lead our way,  it is not because  we’re getting older,  but that we are growing  in the grace  of God.     There are many old people  who die,  never having acknowledged  God’s grace  and care  for us.

We rest  in the LORD  and wait patiently  for Him,  simply because  we know the LORD’s faithfulness.     From reading the Bible,  we’ve learned  about the multitudinous times  God has saved His children  at just the right moment.     Thinking about our personal past,  we acknowledge  how God has saved us  time and again  from terrifying situations  —  and even less than terrifying situations.     Praise God  for His saving love  in everyday situations,  as David did.

God deserves our honor,  praise  and worship  every time He has saved us  in our daily confrontations.     That is how we delight  in our LORD  as David sings  in Psalm 37:4,    “Delight yourself  in the LORD,  and He will give you  the desires  of your heart”.

When God’s children  face challenges,  they commit their whole being  to the LORD,  trusting  that their Heavenly Father  will care for those  who love Him.     God’s children know  for sure  that whatever the LORD chooses  to do  for that situation  is right  and good  in the end.     It’s the eternal truth  of Romans 8:28,   “And we know that God causes all things  to work together  for good  to those  who love God,  to those  who are called  according to His purpose.”

This agrees with David  in Psalm 37:17-18,   “But the LORD sustains the righteous.     The LORD knows  the days of the blameless;  and their inheritance  will be forever.”

Note in all this  that the righteous  do suffer many trials,  but in the end  our inheritance will be  with our LORD  in heaven.

“Resting in the LORD” is not lazily sitting back  and doing nothing.     It is actively living  in love  the way God wants us  to live,  obeying all our Lord’s precepts  because they are so beautiful  and right  in every aspect.     When we are honestly living  as God’s children,  we can comfortably be assured  that God will work  all things  for our good.

It simply does not matter  what is happening now.     Knowing God’s righteousness,  we can say  with Job,  “Though He slay me; I will hope in Him.”   (Job 13:15)

Are you finding yourself more willing  to wait  for the Lord  and not fretting?     Continue delighting yourself  in the LORD  because it is good  and right  and will bring God’s blessings  in His time.

Isaiah 30:15,   “In repentance  and rest  you shall be saved.     In quietness  and trust  is your strength.”     To that we can say,  “Hallelujah!”

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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Love Rejected

May 17, 2017

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Love Rejected

In the Garden of Eden,  Adam and Eve  were surrounded  by the love  of their Creator.     But the day came  when they didn’t believe  in God’s love  for them  when they didn’t trust His command  to not eat  from the forbidden tree.      Unbelief is rejection.   Such a simple act  was that mistrust — that unloving act  with awful consequences.

But,  God continued  to show His love  with the promise  of a Savior.     Over the centuries,  God continually kept proving  His love  by saving His people  from countless predicaments  and giving more details  of the Savior  He would be sending.

When the Savior finally came,  Jesus declared God’s love  and mercy again  for all mankind  to see  and believe     That love of God  was profoundly shown  with Jesus’ faithful preaching  of God’s truths,  backed up  with miracles for the proof  of His authority.

As Jesus preached God’s eternal truth,  many people  were awed  with the infinite beauty  and wonder  of God’s love  for each and every one  of them.     They were drawn  into desiring more  of that knowledge  of being honestly loved.     Even today,  our aim  is to know  that love,  believe in that love,  be transformed  by that love,  and to glory  in that love.

But,  to everyone’s troubled puzzlement,  Jesus then displayed  even more  of God’s love and mercy  in the pain  and suffering He endured  during His lifetime,  trial,  and death.     This seemed to be opposite  of His power  to perform miracles.

When Jesus,  God Almighty,  allowed mere humans  to mock  and ridicule Him  day after day  and eventually crucify Him,  the ultimate  in saving love  was displayed  for all the world  to see forever  and ever.     But,  the degradation  and shame  of humankind  was also displayed forever  —  and ever.     The most awful shame  in this world  is for lowly,  corrupt mankind  to reject  the self-sacrificing,  saving love  of God Almighty.

In their arrogance,  hatred,  and jealousy,  mere humans  were displayed exactly as they are  —  foolish,  sinful,  and fully deserving  of eternal death  because of their rejection  of God’s love.     They rejected their own basic need  for God Almighty’s love  and salvation.    That’s like refusing food,  water  and shelter.

People still reject  our heavenly Father’s  free offer  of salvation  by faith alone.    They prefer  to work their own way  to a heaven  of their own description  in an attempt  to take credit  for their own “goodness”.     That sort of rejection  of our Lord’s love  is blasphemy,  to say the least.

What does that say  to us?     Are we  that same kind of people  —  people who look for love,  need love,  but often reject God’s love  with arrogant disobedience  and pride?     Are we so powerful  that we can afford  to reject God’s continued offer  of free salvation  through a simple faith  in the atoning work  of Christ  on the cross?

To actually see  the filthiness  of our sinful natures  and then to realize  that we are still loved  should bring about  a deep reverence  for God’s faithful patience  with each  and every one  of us.     Then we can pray  for each other  with Paul  in Ephesians 3:14-19,

“For this reason,  I bow my knees  before the Father,  from whom every family  in heaven  and on earth  derives its name,  that He would grant you,  according to the riches  of His glory,  to be strengthened  with power  through His Spirit  in the inner man;   so that Christ  may dwell  in your hearts  through faith;  and that you,  being rooted  and grounded in love,  may be able  to comprehend  with all the saints  what is the breadth and length  and height and depth,  and to know  the love of Christ  which surpasses knowledge,  that you may be  filled up  to all the fullness  of God.”

May we be humbled  with a true comprehension  of God’s faithful working  for us,  so that we may be filled up  with the fullness  of God’s awesome love  and forgiveness  extended to us.     Then,  instead of rejecting  that awesome love,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!”  —  and bow  in true adoration  and worship,  knowing the amazing wonder  of being loved  by God Almighty.

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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What’s in a Name?

May 16, 2017

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What’s in a Name?

Psalm 9:10   —  And those who know Thy name  will put their trust  in Thee;  for Thou,  O LORD,  hast not forsaken those  who seek Thee.

These days  people often give their children  cutesy names  with cutesy spellings,  just to distinguish them  from the rest  of the crowd.     But,  in many other cultures  and especially  in biblical times,  a name  was an actual description  of that person’s being  or reason  for being.     That is why God  has so very many names  throughout the Bible.     God’s all-sufficient greatness  is so overwhelming  that no one particular name  can adequately describe Him.     God’s names  help us  to grasp small ideas  of who He is  and what He does  for us.

Psalm 9:10  tells us  that those who “know” God’s name  will put their trust  in Him.     So,  if we want  to grow  in trusting our Lord  during times of trial,  we need  to learn to “know” His name.     That doesn’t mean  just memorizing a list  of God’s names,  but realizing why  those names  belong to God  and how those attributes  of God  will strengthen us  in a true  and growing faith.

Whole books  (with tons of pages)  have been written  about the many names  of God,  and here are  only a few verses  that describe our Lord.    As we read each verse,  we can think about  how that should describe God  in our lives.

Psalm 89:15-16   “How blessed are the people  who know  the joyful sound!     O LORD,  they walk  in the light  of Thy countenance.     In Thy name  they rejoice  all the day  and by Thy righteousness  they are exalted.”      Here,  “LORD”  has the Hebrew definition  of the self-Existent  or Eternal One.     Those rejoicing  in the Eternal One  are glad  to live  in His ways.     Then,  it’s the LORD’s righteousness  that exalts  the faithful  —  not any self-righteousness  on their part.

Isaiah 9:6    “For a child  will be born to us,  a son  will be given to us;  and the government will rest  on His shoulders;  and His name  will be called Wonderful Counselor,  Mighty God,  Eternal Father,  Prince of Peace.”       There’s a lot  to try and fathom  in this verse.     God’s marvelous greatness  is far beyond  our imagination  in all these names.

Isaiah 44:6    “Thus says the LORD,  the King of Israel  and his Redeemer,  the LORD of hosts;  ‘I am the first  and I am the last,  and there is no God  besides Me.’”        This verse is so assuring  when we realize  that our Lord  is eternal  and does not change.     Just think what that means  in times  of trouble.    Our LORD  is the one and only God,  the one and only judge  or mighty one  of any sort  and it is He  who has redeemed us,  bought us,  and set us free.     We don’t have to wonder  about any other way  of salvation.

Psalm 18:1-2    “I love Thee,  O LORD,  my strength.     The LORD is my rock  and my fortress  and my deliverer,  my God,  my rock,  in whom I take refuge;  my shield  and the horn  of my salvation,  my stronghold.”       King David has all sorts  of rock-solid,  descriptive names  for our God.     Every name describes  how solidly  the LORD can be trusted.     That’s just what we need  to know  in our trials.

Psalm 23:1-6   “The LORD is my Shepherd,  I shall not want.     He makes me  lie down  in green pastures;   He leads me  beside quiet waters.     He restores  my soul;   He guides me  in the paths  of righteousness  for His name’s sake.     Even though I walk  through the valley  of the shadow  of death,  I fear no evil;   for Thou art  with me;   Thy rod  and Thy staff,  they comfort me.     Thou dost prepare a table  before me  in the presence  of my enemies;   Thou hast anointed my head  with oil;   my cup overflows.     Surely goodness  and lovingkindness  will follow me  all the days  of my life,  and I will dwell  in the house  of the LORD  forever.”

Wow!     Our Shepherd  does all this  for us  —  for HIS NAME’S SAKE.     None of these benefits  are ours  because of any worthiness  on our part.     God does all this  because He is true  to His Name forever.

It’s time  to give thanks  and praise.   Are we trusting?

As we learn  to trust God  for who He is,  our “Hallelujah!”  will be filled  with a deeper appreciation.

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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The Altars of God

May 15, 2017

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The Altars of God

The other day,  I noticed a bird’s nest  up under the corner  of our eave.     What a perfect spot  for protection  from the elements  and the neighborhood kitties!

That made me think  of Psalm 84:3-4, The bird also has found a house,  and the swallow  a nest  for herself,  where she may lay her young,  even Your altars,  O LORD  of hosts,  my King and my God.     How blessed are those  who dwell  in Your house!     They are ever praising You.”

That Psalm ends with,  “O LORD of hosts,  how blessed is the man  who trusts in You!”

There are so many wonderful things  to notice  in this Psalm,  one can’t mention it all.     But,  if a lowly bird  can praise the LORD  by trusting Him,  how much more blessed  is the man  who learns  to trust God?

An altar  is a place of sacrifice  and yet,  this is exactly where  the bird knows  it can find refuge.     It’s where we  find refuge.     Our refuge  is in entrusting  our whole lives  to God.     Learning to trust God  in this sinful world  is a real sacrifice.     There are many ways  to sacrifice  to the LORD  as we acknowledge  His protection.     Because God knows  our innately sinful nature,  He is very specific  about honorable sacrifices.     Here  God defines  true sacrifice.

  • Hebrews 13:15-16   Through Him then,  let us continually  offer up a sacrifice  of praise  to God,  that is, the fruit  of lips  that give thanks  to His name.     And do not neglect  doing good  and sharing,  for with such sacrifices  God is pleased.
  • Psalm 4:5   Offer the sacrifices  of righteousness,  and trust  in the LORD.
  • Psalm 27:6   And now my head  will be lifted up  above my enemies  around me,  and I will offer  in His tent sacrifices  with shouts  of joy;  I will sing,  yes,  I will sing praises  to the LORD.
  • Psalm 51:15-17   O Lord,  open my lips  that my mouth  may declare  Your praise.     For You do not delight  in sacrifice,  otherwise  I would give it;   You are not pleased  with burnt offering.     The sacrifices  of God  are a broken spirit;  a broken  and a contrite heart,  O God,  You will not despise.
  • Psalm 107:22   Let them also  offer sacrifices  of thanksgiving,  and tell  of His works  with joyful singing.
  • Proverbs 15:8   The sacrifice  of the wicked  is an abomination  to the LORD,  but the prayer  of the upright  is His delight.
  • Hosea 6:6   For I delight  in loyalty  rather than sacrifice,  and in the knowledge  of God  rather than burnt offerings.
  • Mark 12:32-33   The scribe said  to Him,  “Right, Teacher;  You have truly stated  that HE IS ONE,  AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE  BESIDES HIM;   AND TO LOVE HIM  WITH ALL THE HEART  AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING  AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH,  AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR  AS HIMSELF,  is much more  than all burnt offerings  and sacrifices.”
  • Romans 12:1   Therefore I urge you,  brethren,  by the mercies of God,  to present your bodies  a living  and holy sacrifice,  acceptable to God,  which is your spiritual service  of worship.

All of this  is mind boggling.     Our whole lives  belong to God.     To fully enjoy  God’s nearness,  we need  to lay our lives  on the altar  of God.     We do that  with praise,  thanksgiving,  trust,  righteousness,  sharing,  telling of God’s works,  loyalty,  joyfully singing,  having a broken  and contrite heart  over our sinful natures,  delighting  in the knowledge  of God,  and, most of all,  loving God  with our whole heart,  understanding  and strength.

That’s every single thing  we have.

But…….Jesus gave us  His all.     So  as we endeavor  to give the right kind  of daily sacrifices,  we are to be:    “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.     For consider Him  who has endured  such hostility  by sinners  against Himself,  so that you  will not grow weary  and lose heart.”   —   Hebrews 12:2-3

We say,  “Hallelujah!”  as we  nestle  in God’s true,  saving love.   Let yourself be blessed.

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

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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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