Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Looking for that blessed HOPE, and the GLORIOUS appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ

" Keep yourselves in the love of God, 
Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." 
Jude 1:21

This morning I looked outside. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day. Yesterday the rain brought about such wonderful crisp air. I was debating if I should even go for a walk. Normally I walk after I read and pray, but today I wasn't feeling the best.

Because my morning walk has always been a part of my daily activity, I found myself putting on my shoes and warm coat. Maybe I'll just walk a bit less today I reasoned....

Somehow my walks have always done me good... not just physically, but spiritually as well. It's a time I like to listen to hymns, hear a bible reading program, memorize verses or  pray for my loved ones.

I'll confess not all days are productive... as thoughts of the earthly things can cloud my mind. Sometimes I find myself coming up back to the house and realize I wasted my time being burdened rather than trusting in the LORD.

But today I heard a beautiful song that lifted my spirit... and I thanked the LORD for reminding me to look on the things above.

I thought to share the song... hoping it would encourage you as well.


As I see the marks of sin I feel a sadness,
But there's a thought that always brings a sweet release.
Soon our Saviour will be here, that day is drawing near,
When tears, when trial, when heartaches all will cease.


Oh how wonderful heaven will be,
To be with Jesus throughout eternity.
No earthly thing can compare
to what is waiting for us there.
Oh how wonderful heaven will be.

Oh just think of all the countless joys of heaven,
A better land, a better life than we could know.
We will be forever safe thru His forgiving grace,
This gift is ours because He loves us so.  

Author: Dan Dirksen Jr.

May you look for the glorious appearing of our SAVIOUR Jesus Christ... and find joy and peace for the trials of today.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Only TAKE HEED to thyself and keep thy SOUL diligently...

" For what nation is there so great, who hath GOD so nigh unto them, as the LORD our GOD is in ALL THINGS that we call upon him for? "
 Deuteronomy 4:7

Have you ever looked at a spider and its web? Have you seen the spider at work... diligently working the web ever so meticulously? Have you seen how the spider reacts when something foreign invades his "home"?

Recently while sitting near a large window I noticed the spider at work. A leaf fell in his web. Within seconds the spider appears to remove all form of "foreign invasion". Patiently he begins the removal of the foreign object that has attached itself in his web. The object is much bigger than he... 

But it's obvious to anyone watching the spider at work that it is of utmost importance for the spider to have the object removed. 

He diligently and patiently works. His web needs to be free of any danger to his "home". 

And what I noticed most is that within seconds the spider came to remove the foreign object... the leaf. 

I thought of our own lives. Our hearts... 

Are we like the spider that quickly removes all "foreign dangers" that can mar our hearts? Do we diligently keep our hearts free from any form of danger that can infiltrate our souls and make us useless for the kingdom of GOD... and hinders us to grow?

Do we quickly put aside all form of  "dangers"... before they can debilitate us? 

Dangers can come in all forms... bitterness, jealousy, slander, pride, malice, hypocrisy.  

" Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, 
And hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings..."
1 Peter 2:1

But it can also be what we put in our hearts... through what we see/read/hear. Dangers from wrong books, movies, music.etc...

"Be sober, be vigilant;
 Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, 
Walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 
1 Peter 5:8

Our God has instructed us, through HIS righteous WORD... to guard our hearts. Diligently.

" Keep thy heart with all diligence, 
For out of it are the issues of life."
Proverbs 4:23

We are always to be on the alert.  And we have a GREAT GOD who is near us when we call. 

What an awesome privilege to have the GOD of heaven act on our behalf.... even when dangers come our way.

" When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, 
Even in the latter days, 
If thou turn to the LORD thy GOD, 
And shalt be obedient unto HIS voice; 
For the LORD thy GOD is a MERCIFUL God; 
HE will not forsake thee... " 
Deuteronomy 4:30,31

And so I was grateful for the little glimpse in the world of the spider... a different outlook than I would otherwise see.  

Marvelous are God's reminders...

May you be reminded today to guard your heart from evil.... and may you have victory through HIS power that can set us free.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Create in me a clean heart, O God ....

"... God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Matthew 22:32

Lately I've been contemplating what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. What it means to be humble. What it means to be clean on the inside. What it means to have mercy and faith. And above all, what it means to have Christ as your master...

" For one is your master, even Christ." 
Matthew 23:8

Maybe all this stemmed from a recent visit to a group of people that take pride in their "cleanliness"... and having "orderliness" as a top priority. Lots of rules and regulations. I suppose there's really nothing wrong in being clean, it's a wonderful trait to have. But as I visited these people I was burdened. Can outwardly cleanliness count for anything in God's kingdom? Does it count for eternity? 

How are we, as followers of Christ, able to shine clean in a world of "filth"? Filth being sin, and all things unclean.   Well, I needed to go to the WORD... to find God's answers.

The gospel of Matthew relates Jesus' condemnation of those being clean on the outside and failing to apply cleanliness on the inside. 

" Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! 
For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, 
But within they are full of extortion and excess. " 
Matthew 23:25

The Lord sure is direct! How often we make ourselves look good so that others may see our "righteousness".   

We can easily "pay" the tithe... whatever it may be that requires us to "look good". But we forget what counts most in God's eyes... judgement, mercy and faith.

"  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, 
But within ye are full of hypocrisy, and iniquity." 
Matthew 23:28

So as I was reading through the chapter in Matthew, I stopped a bit to evaluate my own life. How do I live for Christ? Do I worry about man's view of me? Or do I care about being clean before God?

If Christ is alive in me, then I too shall live... no longer for myself, or the world around me... but for the ONE who died for me. And if Christ be my master, the greatest amongst us(also a servant), then I too am called to follow in His steps.... to walk humbly, to show mercy, to be guided by Him in all things. No boasting in my own abilities...

What assurance to know that His blood has cleansed me from the filth and dross of sin. Great is God's power to cleanse! 

His cleansing, not my own... 

And so I delight in the wonderful work of God on my behalf... the joy of being clean within, by the power of His blood.

" Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: 
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." 
Psalm 51:7

May you know the real meaning of being clean... and shine for HIM.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ye that seek the LORD, look unto the ROCK whence you were hewn...

" Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; 
Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. " 
Isaiah 51:7

As I was reading through the 51 chapter of Isaiah this morning I suddenly read over a couple of verses I had memorized not too long ago...

It was about a year ago, or maybe even two, when I struggled with a huge bout of anxiety. It wasn't the normal anxious feeling that we all get... fears that come about and quickly go. This was much stronger. I was struggling to find peace within, from fear that  almost paralyzed me. What was I fearing? I had never experienced such anxiety...

Have you ever struggled with anxiety? Have you ever been fearful of the  future? Have the momentary struggles weighed heavily upon you that you felt you would lose control?

I remember my anxious heart weighing heavily upon me one day. My strength was weak. I was helpless. Yet in my struggle I knew my hope could only be found in my LORD. I couldn't do it alone. I needed HIS help. His power alone could deliver me. I could never have the power I needed to "get myself up" and free myself from the clutch of fear. 

There were no words that I could utter in my state of helplessness except, "Lord, please help me!"  The simple words of dependence on HIM  brought all the peace I had ever needed. A wave of calmness washed over me. And in His faithfulness, He directed me to a couple of verses in Isaiah that I took to memorizing... and repeated day in and day out.... even through the night. 

" I, even I, am He that comforteth you; 
Who art thou, that shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass;  
And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens , and laid the foundations of the earth; 
And hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor as if he was ready to destroy? 
And where is the fury of the oppressor " 
Isaiah 51: 12,13

The fear that comes from the evil one... can debilitate us. But all we have to do is to look to our maker. HE alone comforts us. He alone delivers us from the hand of the oppressor. He alone strengthens us. 

Let us look unto the ROCK.

" The LORD is my ROCK and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, 
In whom I will trust...
For who is GOD, save the LORD? Or who is a rock, save our God? 
The LORD liveth , and blessed be my ROCK, 
And let the God of my salvation be exalted." 
Psalm 18:2,31,46

With thankfulness I read through Isaiah 51 today... thankful for the Lord's mercy... that endures forever. 

" Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted... thus saith thy Lord the Lord, 
and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, 
Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling... " 
Isaiah 51:21,22

Even in times of distress, our God is faithful!

May you be encouraged to cry out to the ONE who alone can save.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I even I am the LORD, and beside me there is no SAVIOUR...

"... He knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: 
These forty years the LORD Thy God hath been with thee; 
Thou hast lacked nothing." 
Deuteronomy 2:7

These past several weeks I've been reading through Isaiah... and oh, what a blessing it has been to me. As much as I've read through Isaiah many, many times the Lord always seems to reveal new truths and comfort through His word.

The book of Isaiah clearly lays out the importance of knowing who God is... clearly there is NO other God in heaven but HE alone... 

" ... I am the first , I am the last; and beside me there is no God."
Isaiah 44:6
And yet again, 

"... Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any."
Isaiah 44:8

What really stood out for me while reading through Isaiah was how God relates His steadfast love to us ... over and over again. It's His desire that we might  know Him and that we would give Him glory and be a witness for His name. 

" Ye are my witnesses, and my servant whom I have chosen: 
That ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am HE: 
Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
 Isaiah 43:10

The really neat thing is that God cares for us His people. He has formed us. He has blotted out our transgressions. He has redeemed us... a people for Himself.

And how beautifully He takes care of us. Even  through the wilderness... He gives us water. And in the desert... He gives us rivers.    

" I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, 
to give drink to my people, my chosen." 
Isaiah 43:20

All this... so that we might show forth praise unto our God. Our God who has formed us and has called us by name.  

It's such a comforting thought that my God has been with me all these years, through the "wilderness, through the "desert" ... and I have lacked nothing!   

O, Lord... help me to show forth your praise and be a witness for your name. Indeed you are the only true God, the Holy One, the Creator of heaven and earth... my KING.

   " Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory..."
 Isaiah 43:7

May you show forth God's glory in your life today and be encouraged to give Him praise.