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Sing to the Lord!

We ought always to sing unto our Lord and praise Him, especially in the midst of trials. In this Psalm, the trumpet or ram’s horn was a reminder to the people of God’s presence (Numbers 10:10). They probably used this psalm in worship during the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, the harvest festival in the fall of the year (Exodus 23:14-19; Deuteronomy 16:13-17). The poem begins with a call to praise God by singing, shouting, and playing musical instruments. The psalmist reminded the people of the importance of hearing and obeying God in verse 8. In the Old Testament, hearing God’s voice is usually associated with heeding His Word. As a result of their disobedience, God’s people missed His greatest blessings, verse 16. We tend to get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget that everything we have comes from Him, and He deserves our praise. I hate to think what blessings we miss out on because of our distractions. He will give us up unto our own hearts’ lust, as we walk in our own counsels. “Oh that my people had hearkened unto me…”Β I believe that God wants to prosper and bless His children; how very sad for us as we turn Him away! 😦

The Temple Priests’ Prayer for Thursdays

Psalm 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.
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.

Verses 1-7 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.

Verses 8-16 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 wilfulness. 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 December 17, 2015 in God's Truth

 

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The Greatness of the Lord

Back in Solomon’s days, the temple priests sang a different Psalm for each day of the week. Oh that we would worship our LORD each and every day and come to know Him more! For He is INDEED WORTHY!

The Temple Priests’ Psalm for Mondays:

Psalm 48:

1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.

4 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

5 They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.

6 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.

8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.

9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.

10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.

11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.

13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.

The security that belongs to those who place their faith in the Lord is celebrated in this psalm. God’s people believed that Jerusalem, “the city of our God,” could never be conquered because God’s presence would always protect it (Psalm 48:1). The city of Jerusalem, however, fell to the Babylonians in 586 B.C., at which time, God’s people learned through bitter experience the importance of a faith in Him that reflects itself in moral and ethical living. Unfortunately, as we observe the United States of America today, we must prepare ourselves for dire circumstances headed our way because His people have allowed the things of God to be trod upon and discarded like an old shoe.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2015 in God's Love

 

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Each Thanksgiving is Sweeter than the One Before!

My family and I were very blessed to share a fun-filled Thanksgiving Day of Monopoly and movies with a couple of young military men from our church this year. They would say we blessed them, but I see it the other way around. πŸ˜‰ Ronnie made his scrumptious Lasagna, and of course we had rolls, green bean casserole, and pies. The guys were very sweet when I was overcome with emotion as I took my turn thanking God for His healing hand in my life this year. In October I was diagnosed with a very scary health issue and scheduled for a test on the 16th of this month, to allow time for the “episode” to subside. The test would show us what stage it was in and which direction we would need to go to treat it. I had four weeks to wait for the procedure, and believe me, I went through many different phases of emotions and thoughts during that time.

Being who I am, my first reaction was one of anger. I did go to the Lord asking, “Really Lord?! I finally understand what it means to totally turn my life over to You, and desire to serve You more each day, and now You say I am done? You don’t need me any more?” (Maybe I did not turn my life over to Him as much as I thought I had, right?) I do believe it is okay with God for us to interact with Him that way. Now, I am not saying we ought to disrespect Him or curse Him in any way, but I truly believe He wants to hear from us concerning all things, especially things like this. He did create us for His good pleasure, and I think that means that it pleases Him when we sincerely communicate our feelings to Him. I thought about how Jacob wrestled with God and how Hezekiah asked God for 15 more years of life and God granted his request. I remembered how Job spoke with God when satan was allowed to “test” him. (It just so happened that we started in the Book of Job at church during this time; God’s timing is indeed perfect. I tell you, I felt our God speaking directly to me as I read His response to Job.)

Then there was a time of sadness and reflection on everything that God has ever allowed to happen to me, good and bad, which brought much understanding and seeing that God’s hand was in it all along. In the midst of these emotions, I experienced a Grace that I believe came from my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ’s prayers pleading with God to heal me. I finally was able to say, “Thank you Lord for what you are teaching me through this.” My prayer is that I will keep growing in Him and come to the point where I will honestly and earnestly say thank you before responding in anger and mistrust.

I tear up now as I am so very thankful to say that after the test, my doctor said, “It looks like it has gone away.” (This is unheard of medically speaking, but as children of a great an awesome God, we are not surprised.) Of course you can guess my immediate response, “Praise the Lord!” (Well, there is a slight condition, but nothing compared to what they initially said. Maybe just enough of an issue to remind me of what God has done for me.) I believe God is still moving this verse from my head to my heart: Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I thank thee Lord for they mercy and thy Grace that you continue to bless me with. Guess You are not done with me yet! πŸ™‚

I can truly say I Β am closer to understanding the meaning of the saying and the promise from God’s Word “The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength!” When we can say, “Thank you Lord. I know You are in control and You are allowing this for Your purpose and for Your Glory,” we do indeed experience joy that can only come from YAHWEH. Nehemiah 8:10.

Β 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2015 in God's Love, Uncategorized

 

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Trust and Obey

Rose Mary Magdalene バラ パをγƒͺγƒΌγƒžγ‚°γƒ€γƒͺン

When we are faced with the heartache of feeling insignificant and of little value in this world, we must remember that God values each and every one of us. He “knew us in our mothers’ wombs,” and “the hairs on our heads are numbered.” We are reminded of our value to Him repeatedly in His word. The value of our very souls is such that He sent His only Son to take our punishment on the cross. No greater love is there in this world.

I was led to some of His comforting Scripture recently during a time of great testing and evil attacks as result of trying to “Trust and Obey.” Many fleshly thoughts did come to mind to distract me from trusting and obeying, especially during a lesson to learn to love unconditionally, as God loves me. The only weapon I found sufficient to combat the evil, fleshly self was found in God’s loving word.

Psalm 40:1-5, 16,17 “I waited patiently for the LORD; (during times of fleshly consumption, patience alluded me; forgive me LORD) and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered…Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. But I am poor and needy; yet the LORD thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”

Those of us with a colorful past may at times feel discouragement or intimidation when we feel looked down on, or not “good enough” by those who give the impression, “thank God, I never committed those kinds of sins.” I am reminded of Mary Magdalene and that “He who is forgiven much, loveth much.” Experience over the years has proved this to be true in many instances.

In spite of that, it is my desire to fashion my own thinking after Mary’s example. Hers is a heartwarming representation of an attitude of gratitude. She was miraculously liberated from a horrific life of sin by Jesus when he cast seven demons from her. We know that she had quite a colorful past, but every account we have of her from God’s word, after salvation, shows us that she chose to live her new life in thankful appreciation for Christ’s deliverance of her soul. Her faith was not complicated, but straightforward and sincere.

It is my desire to try and implement what God is teaching me through my trials, and to be like Mary: “More eager to believe and obey than to try to understand everything. Jesus honored her childlike faith by appearing to her first and by entrusting her with the first message of His resurrection.” Thank you, LORD, for teaching me that it is more important to care what you think of me than to be wounded by what some in this world may think of me.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in God's Love, Godly Women

 

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