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Oh that My People had Hearkened unto Me!

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Psalm 81 was part of my devotion time with my Lord this morning. I could not help but feel an overwhelming sadness for God’s people, for those at the time God inspired this writing and in our world today. As I grow closer to my Lord each day, I consider how it must truly wound Him when His children do not “hearken” unto Him and His Word. What blessings we miss out on!!

Psalms 81

1 Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.

5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.

7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

“All the worship we can render to the Lord is beneath his excellences, and our obligations to him, especially in our redemption from sin and wrath. What God had done on Israel’s behalf, was kept in remembrance by public solemnities. To make a deliverance appear more gracious, more glorious, it is good to observe all that makes the trouble we are delivered from appear more grievous. We ought never to forget the base and ruinous drudgery to which Satan, our oppressor, brought us. But when, in distress of conscience, we are led to cry for deliverance, the Lord answers our prayers, and sets us at liberty. Convictions of sin, and trials by affliction, prove his regard to his people. If the Jews, on their solemn feast-days, were thus to call to mind their redemption out of Egypt, much more ought we, on the Christian sabbath, to call to mind a more glorious redemption, wrought out for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, from worse bondage.”

8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;

9 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.

12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!

14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.

15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.

16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

“We cannot look for too little from the creature, nor too much from the Creator. We may have enough from God, if we pray for it in faith. All the wickedness of the world is owing to man’s willfulness. People are not religious, because they will not be so. God is not the Author of their sin, he leaves them to the lusts of their own hearts, and the counsels of their own heads; if they do not well, the blame must be upon themselves. The Lord is unwilling that any should perish. What enemies sinners are to themselves! It is sin that makes our troubles long, and our salvation slow. Upon the same conditions of faith and obedience, do Christians hold those spiritual and eternal good things, which the pleasant fields and fertile hills of Canaan showed forth. Christ is the Bread of life; he is the Rock of salvation, and his promises are as honey to pious minds. But those who reject him as their Lord and Master, must also lose him as their Saviour and their reward.”

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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No Greater Love!

Well, here we are in a brand new year. For me, 2016 was not so bad. I have many blessings to count. As I move into 2017, I am reminded of God’s words in John 15. The command that Jesus gave the brethren to love one another. Isn’t it bad enough that the world is our enemy and inflicts all sorts of evil upon us? The world knows not the Father, but the brethren do know Him. Let us not act like the world for we are not of this world. As we know, being Christian does not mean we are perfect; we are just doing our best to grow to be like Jesus more every day. We will offend each other, and when we do, we must ask forgiveness and forgive. And, when one asks forgiveness, let us not demand our “pound of flesh,” which comes from pride through our enemy, but as Jesus said, “Forgive as I have forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32. Let us join together as His children and truly love one another that the world may see that love that comes from our Heavenly Father and want to be a part of God’s Kingdom too.

John 15

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in God's Love

 

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He Knew Me Then

I came across this old Dallas Holm song I have not heard for years and was reminded that I did not have to clean myself up from my sin to make Jesus love me. He knew me when I turned Him away and He loved me any way. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” HE LOVED ME BACK TO HIM!

Please do not listen to the enemy’s lies. We do not have to clean up for Jesus to love us. I am so very glad that you love me in spite of me. When I think on the days I was in the world because I believed I was unworthy, I am horrified at the thought of ever going back again. Thank you my Jesus for what you have done and are doing in me.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2016 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Shew Him My Salvation”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part VII of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

VII. “I Will Shew Him My Salvation” That is a sweet promise! God can say to the angels – “Hark to that man that was once down in the depths, down in the gutter, but now he is lifted up and set upon My throne with My Son.” Thank God for the riches of His grace in CHRIST Jesus!

I believe we do not learn the fringe of the subject of Salvation down here. When our Master was on earth, He said He had many more things to say, but He could not reveal them to His disciples because they were not ready to receive them. But when we go yonder, where these mortal bodies have put on immortality, when our spiritual faculties are loosed from the thraldom (the state of being under control of another person; bondage; slavery) of the flesh, I believe we shall be able to take more in. God will lead us from glory to glory, and show us the fullness of our Salvation. Don’t you think Moses knew more at the Mount of Transfiguration than he did at Pisgah? Did not Christ talk with him then about the death He was to accomplish at Jerusalem? Moses could not have received that truth before, any more than the disciples could, but when he had received his glorified body, Christ could show him everything. (End of The Ninety-First Psalm Sermon)

(It is beyond human comprehension to understand all that is involved in the Sanctification process to our Heavenly, Glorified state. No matter how hard I try, my mind cannot totally grasp everything that happens when we go from mortality to immortality. It makes my brain hurt to try, so I have come to the conclusion that it really does not matter to me. It is enough, for now, to just know that it will happen. On the other hand, I sometimes wish with all of my heart that I could understand things that God allows while we walk through this state of mortality like, Why do the righteous, who are doing all they can to live Godly lives, end up being the ones who are so persecuted and hurt by evil ones who are of this world, and it appears that it is the evil ones who prosper and seem to get away with their sin? It breaks my heart. I know that in the end those who remain evil will face the consequences of their evilness in the end, so I strive to trust that God is in control and He has a purpose for everything. Romans 8:28. God’s Word tells us “My thoughts are not your thoughts…” and “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 I know that once I see my Saviour face-to-face all will be understood; all questions will be answered. But, will I really care about these things then? Perhaps not. Anna)

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in God's Love

 

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The Last Week in the Life of Jesus – Day 7 – Saturday

As it was with the 4th day, day 7 must also have been quiet for Jesus. So, I decided to use this day to share why Easter holds an extra special place in my heart.

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

It was Easter Sunday of 1965, I was nearly 10 years old. Our family went to visit our grandmother’s church in Glenwood Springs. I will never forget the gripping sadness that overwhelmed my soul while the teacher taught about the 3 hours of darkness while Jesus was covered with the sins of the world. I understood that my sin was included in that most horrible moment for Jesus when, for the first and only time ever, He was separated from His Holy Father. I also understood that I had 2 choices, either to accept Jesus and live in Heaven with Him forever, or ignore Jesus and go to hell forever.

I was consumed with a sense of urgency when I told the teacher that I needed to “ask Jesus to forgive me and come into my heart.” I remember as if it were yesterday how it looked dark outside the one small window high up on the wall of the Sunday school room when the teacher led me to a small desk at the back of the room. I sat down in the desk and the teacher knelt next to me and held my hand. I told Jesus that I was really sorry for my ugly sins and that He had to die on the cross and be away from His Father.

While my eyes were still closed, I could see the room getting brighter through the window, and when I opened my eyes, the clouds were gone and it was bright and sunny! Such wonderful joy and love I felt, and I wanted to tell everyone!

As a child, I looked at those few very special moments as God doing something extra special just for me. I just knew for sure that He made the darkness outside fade away into bright sunshine just for me because that was what happened as I prayed. I guess that is a good way to describe how His saving power and grace took me from the darkness of my sin to a Light-filled life in Christ.

Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in God's Love

 

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How to Endure Suffering No. 4

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Wrong Way No. 4 – Decide the Limits to Your Own Endurance

God’s Way – Know that God sets and knows your limits – 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Okay, so I am wondering, “What does deciding the limits to my own endurance have to do with being tempted to sin?” I looked up the usage of the word temptation in this verse in my Strong’s Concordance to make sure I am understanding its meaning correctly. It is derived from the Greek word peirasmos, which means “of trial definitely designed to lead to wrong doing.” It is not the temptation that is sin, it becomes sin when the temptation is put into action.

I believe that God is showing me something very specific here. I know that I have bad days and good days, and just when I think maybe I am doing better, boom! Down I go again feeling the anger at what my Momma had to go through, how she fought so hard, and she died anyway. Although I would never do anything to take my own life, I must admit to feelings that have me crying out to God some times, “Please just take me Home!”

These kinds of thoughts are of satan and they are a temptation to take things into my own hands instead of trusting my Heavenly Father. He truly does know me better than I know myself, and He is the only one who knows how long this season needs to last to bring me nearer to Him. I take comfort in His promise – He will not suffer me to be tempted above that which I am able, and He will also make a way for me to escape the temptation so that I am able to bear it.

Here again is where our brothers and sisters in Christ can be a tremendous help. It might be a Christian (sister for women and brother for men) whom we know we can trust with utmost confidence. We may just need someone to show us the love of Jesus by holding us while we cry, share encouraging words or sing praising hymns to guide our thoughts back to Jesus. I am learning that when I do not ‘feel’ like praising, that is the best time to push through the pain and do it anyway. It becomes easier as I press on.

Depending upon the type of suffering we are enduring and how intense it becomes, some of us may need the aid of a counselor. If that be the case, I strongly suggest a strong, Biblical-based Christian counselor such as your church pastor or assistant pastor. The world’s psychology tends to keep us stuck in our pain, rather than healing us. Too many spend years, and in some cases most of their lives trying to get better in a psychiatrist’s office. If it takes years, then it is not working. God is the only one who can truly heal our crushed spirits.

I like how Nancy Missler puts it in her study “Be Ye Transformed” Understanding God’s Truth. “One of the reasons why I believe psychology can be so dangerous is that it’s really another gospel. It leads us to the wrong goal–being conformed to the world’s image, and not Christ’s. Psychology can be dangerous because it causes confusion and it really promotes a lie. It promises to heal us, to remove strongholds from us, to help our relationships, and to help us progress in our Christian walk. The truth is, however, psychology doesn’t heal us, it doesn’t remove strongholds, but often strengthens them, it doesn’t improve relationships, and it doesn’t help us in our Christian walk. In fact, sometimes we even end up even worse off than when we started.” She then quotes from letters she received that actually validate her words.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in God's Love

 

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Jesus Included Women in His Ministry

Luke 8:1 – 3 “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”

Although I love every Gospel in God’s word, I especially love reading and continuously learning from the book of Luke. Being a detail-oriented person myself, I notice this characteristic in Luke the physician, and I am not surprised at all that God chose to inspire him to pen Books in His Word.

Luke includes five events involving women that are not mentioned in the other Gospels. In doing this, he shows the special care that Jesus has for women, and how Jesus overcame the roadblocks women faced in His days and still does today. Men looked upon them as second-class citizens with hardly any of the rights that they had, and women most certainly were not allowed to learn from rabbis. Jesus, our rabbi, lifts women from the state of degradation and servitude to one of fellowship and service. He considers all people, men and women, as equal reflectors of God’s image and of great value to Him.

I find it interesting that God led Luke to include that “certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities,” traveled with Him, letting us know that Jesus did not look down his nose at these women. He considered them lost and dying souls who needed healing and salvation. But He did not just deliver them and say, “Well there ya go…” He allowed them to go with Him and get to know Him, and as a result they grew into strong, Godly women.

We read that Jesus delivered Mary Magdalene of seven demons. As I reflect on my past and where I was when Jesus found me, I believe that she and the other women felt that they owed Jesus a great debt of gratitude for the unconditional love, healing and deliverance that He freely gave them. I know that there would be nothing of this earth that could stop me from hanging out with such a profound teacher as the Son of God. I would feel honored and elated to do whatever possible to walk beside Him in His teaching journey, with a burning desire to know Him more.

They “ministered unto him of their substance.” This tells me that they were in a position to substantially support Jesus and His disciples in their work by providing food and lodging, as well as clothing for the group. They saw a need, had the resources to fulfill that need, and were happy to do so, much the same as we give to the mission field today.

These women disciples most probably did not preach as Jesus and the men did, but I feel certain that Jesus lovingly included them in His group of disciples. They were followers of Jesus who believed in and helped to spread His doctrine. How did they do this? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that where ever they went, there were throngs of women, suffering the same infirmities as they had, and crying out for help. They were able to reach out to those hurting souls and genuinely say, “I understand; Jesus helped me, He can help you…” in a way that the male disciples could not. I believe it was their God-given appointment to encourage, counsel, and instruct lost and wounded women.

God gives us all opportunities to do His work for the growth of His kingdom. It makes no difference to Him about our past once we have come to Him by placing our faith in Jesus. I have experienced the most healing in my life through others who have gone through the same kinds of trials as my own. I also find it very therapeutic for me to reach out and share what God has done in my life, with certain ones He leads me to.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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