Wednesday, February 24, 2016

And Jesus stood still...

"... For HIS WORD was with power." Luke 4: 31

I'm always amazed when I read through the life of the LORD JESUS, as related in the gospels, and find the same words I may have read over and over... once again renewed to me. 

This time around though, I was encouraged with a simple phrase I must have skipped over so many times,

And JESUS stood still...

For some reason when I read those words, I immediately noticed the Lord's ways... in the simple fact that HE stood still... 

In His stillness, He manifested His kindness...His compassion...His gentleness as He reached out towards those in need.

The Lord Jesus, though busy in the midst of a great multitude which followed Him... found the time, STOP BE STILL... 
...HEAR the cries of 2 blind men when they cried, " Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou son of David." 

"  And Jesus stood still 
and called them, 
and said, 
"What will ye that I shall do unto you? " 
Matthew 20:32

The words of Jesus... powerful.

Words the 2 blind men hoped to hear... " What will ye that I shall do unto you? " 

The Lord stood still for them... and His words had power... for it brought hope and healing.

And then I couldn't but think how the Lord Jesus Christ is the same today... just as in the times when He healed the blind and the sick. 

The gospels relate the amazement of the people.... when they saw the result of Jesus' words in His teaching, in the healing of diseases and in the forgiveness of sins.

"... He taught them.., insomuch that they were astonished, and said, 
Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?" 
Matthew 13:54

 "...For His word was with power." 
Luke 4:32 

"What a word is this!..." 
Luke 4:36

Yes, even today, His WORD has power and authority.... to save and deliver... and forgive sins.  

He stops and inclines His ear towards us as well and hears our cries,

" Because HE hath inclined HIS ear unto me, 
therefore will I call upon HIM as long as I live." 
Psalm 116:2

What a joy to know the power of the LIVING WORD... that we too, as the blind men, can cry to the LORD GOD  for mercy and bring all our petitions and requests before the ONE who is able...

"Blessed be God, 
which hath not turned away my prayer, 
nor HIS mercy from me." 
Psalm 66:20

Precious Father, How thankful we are for the Lord Jesus, the WORD of life. Help us to treasure your Word and trust in your unfailing promises towards us. Thank you for hearing our cries for mercy and having compassion on us.

May you delight in the living WORD of the Lord Jesus... and find rest for your souls in the presence of a mighty KING.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

For thou didst it secretly...

" ... the LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die." 2 Samuel 12:13

Do you ever wonder how our sins affect those around us, and how it grieves the Lord God? I know we sin, and I know God is merciful. And I also know He forgives...

...but I thought upon the need to have a pure heart before the Lord. All these thoughts came upon me recently while reading the account of Abraham and Abimelech. 

If you remember, Abraham told Abimelech, king of Gerar, that Sarah(his wife) was actually his sister....  Now Abimelech takes Sarah, but God comes in a dream and warns Abimelech, that Sarah was the wife of another man(Abraham).

In the account, Abimelech stands clean before God and says that he knew not that Abraham and Sarah were husband and wife, 

"... in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands I have done this."
 Genesis 20:5

If you  continue reading the account in Genesis 20... you'll find the Lord God protecting Abimelech from committing sin before the LORD. 

" ... yea, I KNOW that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; 
for I also withheld thee from sinning against me; 
therefore suffered I thee NOT to touch her." 
Genesis 20: 6

You know, God knows our heart. But if we are honest before Him, He goes before us and protects us from evil and committing sin against Him.

I couldn't but think upon David and his sin with Bathsheba. We are aware of David's consequences. 

But then I thought, why didn't the Lord God protect him as well? 

And so, I went and read the account a bit more in detail and compared both Abimelech and David's situation in 2 Samuel 12.

In reality, the 2 situations are exact opposites. Abimelech was honest in his act... while David willfully sinned. (2 Samuel 12:12)

But it was while reading the account of David that I was overwhelmed with the consequences of our own sins. 

It isn't that we sin against the if that wouldn't be enough! 


We give GREAT occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme! 

Our sins don't just affect us... but it affects those around us in ways that bring shame to the gospel. And the Lord tells David, 

" Howbeit, because by this deed 
thou hast given GREAT occasion 
to the enemies of the LORD
 to blaspheme..." 
2 Samuel 12:14

And if you look at God's goodness towards David, you'll find the LORD God providing David with all that he could ever want... and much more! 

David didn't lack...

"... I annointed thee KING over Israel,
I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul,
I gave thee thy master's house,
thy master's wives into thy bosom,
and gave thee the house of Israel AND of Judah;
I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. " 
2 Samuel 12:7,8

And then we wonder why God is grieved with His people... and why He brings judgement!

But through it all... our LORD GOD... is still merciful... and still forgives!

AND David repents,

" I have sinned against the LORD." 
2 Samuel 12: 13

I, too,  find myself willfully allowing my flesh to take precedence in my actions... and my thoughts.... and despising His commandments.

How thankful for the Lord's reminder this morning... that my willful actions against a Holy God... not only grieves our LORD... but also gives GREAT occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme! 

Oh, heavenly Father, how thankful we are for your goodness towards us. We are undeserving of your unfailing love towards us. Make us to walk in righteousness and integrity of heart before your holiness. Forgive us our willful disobedience in despising your commandments.

May you seek the Lord's mercy today and  desire to live in holiness before a righteous God.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

HE heard my voice out of HIS temple, my cry came before HIM, even into HIS ears.

" In the day of my trouble I will call upon THEE: for THOU wilt answer me." Psalm 86:7

Do you ever find yourself being overwhelmed with burdens? I know some of us struggle with burdensome loads more than others. 

Some of us are known to be "sponges" and manage to absorb all manner of burdens... not just ours, but also the burdens of others. And then there are those who can be so focused on their own burdens, they hardly have a moment to see someone else's burdens.

Nonetheless, burdens are heavy. Loads too heavy to carry alone. 

Yes, we all undergo trials and afflictions. And, yes... they can become burdensome, or heavy loads. 

But, burdens don't necessarily have to make us ineffective in our spiritual walk.... 

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and HE shall sustain thee..." 
Psalm 55:22

This past week, I faced such a moment when I found myself carrying a heavy burden... all by myself. It was no wonder why the morning seemed so heavy... making me tired and worn. I was completely focused on my own strength and had forgotten to cast my burden upon the LORD.

Oh, how often I forget...

Indeed, the LORD will sustain me! He hears when we cry for help. He is ever merciful!

In His goodness, the Lord sent a hymn later that morning as a sweet reminder of His love to me. I pray it will encourage you as well... to cast your burden upon the Lord and... leave it there. 

It's so much easier to have the ONE WHO IS ABLE... carry it!


If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there;
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,
And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
Don’t forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,
And your body bends beneath the weight of care;
He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
 Charles Tindley~1916

As hard as it may sound, burdens can be for our own good... that is... if we bring them before the Lord  and not be succumbed underneath their load.

Oh, Father, thank you for your kindness towards us. Thank you for hearing our cries that are raised before you. Thank you for answering us in our need.

"In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: 
He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears."
Psalm 18:6

May you be encouraged today to seek the Lord and cast your burdens upon Him... for He lifts those that are bowed down.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It is enough for the DISCIPLE that he be as his MASTER...

" But when He saw the multitude, HE was moved with COMPASSION on them, because they fainted and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." Matthew 9:36

While reading through the book of Matthew, I was especially touched to read again of the Lord's care and compassion on the multitude of people He touched. 

" He was moved with compassion on them..."

But what struck me most, is that while the Lord healed the people, cast out demons, forgave sins and taught and preached the gospel of the kingdom...

... the people sought to have no part of Him... and wanted Him to depart from them. (Matt. 8:34). 
... they accused Him of blasphemy. (Matt. 9:3)
... they laughed Him to scorn. (Matt. 9:24)
... they accused Him of casting out demons through the prince of the devils. (Matt. 9:34)

The God of heaven encountered all of this and more. Yes, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. 

Have you ever felt mistreated? Have you ever felt the need to retaliate? Have you ever felt pain through hurtful words?  Have you ever been cast out?

And yet looking at our Lord... who had the power to retaliate or revile... displayed His love and had compassion on them!

I often look at myself... and find myself lacking to be like my MASTER. 

" It is enough that he be as his MASTER, 
and the servant as his LORD..." 
Matthew 10:25

How often I lack compassion... and rather judge.
How often I lack discernment... and speak foolishly.
How often I show contempt... and am fool of pride.
How often I see no need to go the extra mile... but rather "give up".

Oh, that Christ would fully control my every action and thought! That I would learn of Him. 

" Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 
But made Himself of no reputation,
 and took upon Him the form of a SERVANT..." 
Philippians 2:5,6,7

If we call ourselves disciples of the Lord... 

...then we ought to walk in Him, rooted and built in Him, established in the faith,
...and abound with thanksgiving. (Col 2:6.7.8)

Yes, through Him we can do all things....for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 

Father, How thankful I am for the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to do Thy will and had compassion on us. Thank you for your mercy and grace shown  to us through His life, death and resurrection. How thankful I am for the example we have in the Lord Jesus as our Master. May we follow in His steps and bring glory unto your Holy name.

May you be encouraged and strengthened to have compassion on those around you, that Christ would be magnified in your life today.