Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Devotional Thought From Psalms

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.     Psalms 9:10

Those who “know thy name,” I think that means to hear the truth and reality about the true God. In David’s day it included: Israel been delivered from slavery in Egypt to freedom with God; the receiving of the land of Canaan according to God’s promise; the raising of David a shepherd boy to be the Shepherd King over God’s people. David says those who know the truth of the LORD’s name, that it represents God’s greatness will trust in Him; will name His name as their God. When they realize how real, great, and caring for His people He is, how could people who know His name not put their trust in him?

And, this scripture tells us that God will never forsake them who seek Him by putting their trust in Him. God's “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee (Heb. 13:5)” policy is a great comfort to all believers in the God of the Bible. Yet there are so many Christians throughout the world who are living in the midst of horrific persecution in nations who do not love, or honor the living God of the Bible. Even knowing that men are sinners who can reach the greatest depths of depravity, observers of today’s persecutions of Christians cannot fathom the evil of it. Those poor people might sincerely be asking; Where are the miracles to deliver us? Where are the armies of the nations of the world to deliver us? Where are the conversions of the persecutors to deliver us? Why doesn’t God do, right this moment, the amazing things He did for ancient Israel? We don’t know, but we can assure them that no matter how humanity fails them the LORD has not forsaken them.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Devotional Thought From Psalms

Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.     Psalm 2:10-12

This messianic psalm brings a message to leaders of the world: kings; presidents; premiers; leaders of terrorist mobs, gangs, and armies; satraps; princes; sheiks; warlords; those by whatever name they may be designated or self-identified. Being a wise leader is to serve the LORD with fear and trembling because He is in control of all things. He is Ruler of the universe, earthly leaders who despise and fight against His universal order have no chance to come out victorious or unpunished. The psalmist gives them the advice to kiss the Son. In the days in which he was writing, and it is still true today, if you were close to the king’s son, a good friend, you were usually in good graces with the king (unless the king was mentally or spiritually unstable like Saul in the Old Testament, and Herod, the Great, in the New). In the normal context of Psalm 2, and the New Testament context of grace, if you are in with God’s Son you are in with God, the Father. Then God’s Holy Spirit indwells and guides you through life. Specifically, to government leaders this Triune God declares that leaders, by whatever name, are ministers of God to people for good (Romans 13:4). What a concept: leaders of the world are supposed to do good for their people, and as circumstances permit all people. Good does not include mass executions, unjust wars, beheadings or crucifixions because someone is of a different religion, destruction of families or decent society, persecutions, corruption, starvation or general unrighteousness. Leaders of the world if you want to be blessed and want your people to be blessed trust in the God of the Bible and serve Him with joy as well as fear. Get close to the Son by faith in Him, Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Devotional Thought From Job

He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who has hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?     Job 9:4

          Job’s laments are filled with human thought and feeling - some right on target, some a misunderstanding of God and how God acts in human affairs. Unless God explains Himself, He is incomprehensible. In this case Job has a clear principle correct. If a person hardens himself against God, refuses to follow God’s leading, rejects God’s teaching, denies a relationship with God, in the long run of life (and sometimes the immediate short term) that person will not prosper. That lack of prosperity may show itself in: poverty of temporal blessings; poverty of dysfunctional family or friends; poverty of peace and safety due to war; poverty of education, freedom, happiness; poverty of eternal satisfaction in the presence of and in relationship with God.

          Job is, of course, speaking of the One and only true God who has explained Himself in the Bible. Some will say, “Job’s God is not the God of all religions.” They would be right. They might say, “I have the right to choose my own god.” They would be right. But Job also is right. Those who harden themselves against the God of the Bible will ultimately not prosper. He is wise and mighty in strength, and His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Choose ye this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house we will serve the LORD, the God of the Bible and all that He has created.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Commentary

He that overcometh, shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.     Revelation 21:7.8

Murderers, when their lives end, will not receive 72 virgins to pleasure them; they will not hear the words “Well done good and faithful servant;” the gates to God’s kingdom will not swing open to them with the declaration that everyone no matter what they have done in earth will be allowed in heaven. Murderers are among the list of those banished from the presence of God. They will suffer the ultimate torment which is eternal separation from God. The holy Scriptures of the Bible give some detail, That eternal separation from the One true, living God will include being submerged in the eternal lake burning with fire. Over the protestations of some that such a thing could not exist are the pools of lava, burning liquid, that from time to time are spilled upon the earth. If such things happen in the course of nature, then, of course, with the supernatural power of God involved there is no issue in believing that such a punishment awaits murderers, and other appalling sinners. Murderers from Paris, to Ben Ghazi, to New York City, or wherever murders occur are separated from God now, and will be forever in eternity, unless they can find supernatural forgiveness. Though such a dream seems hopeless, there is forgiveness available to the murderer, and other sinners. He must cast aside his radical false religion, or his confidence in himself as the god of his own life, or his belief that there is no retribution after death, or whatever his confidence is, and having cast that away, admit the evil wickedness of his deeds and turn from them, and cast himself in faith upon Jesus Christ who gave His own life on the cross of Calvary to save the sinner, even the murderer. Jesus Christ will give you grace if you cast yourself on Him by faith in Him.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Devotional Verse From Nehemiah
So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.     Nehemiah 4:21
Seeking to peacefully rebuild the walls of their capital city, Jerusalem, and the Temple of the LORD within it, the ancient Israelis who had been allowed by Cyrus and then Artaxerxes, kings of Persia, to return home for this purpose, found themselves the targets of threats of violence from enemies in the land who desired to strip them of their rights and make them subservient. Though they sought peace and freedom they would not be terrorized, they raised the terrorist threat to the highest level on the terrorist advisory scale, and then continued their work together to rebuild the walls. As they worked half of them stood at the ready, weapons in hand, to repulse any terror attacks that might come from their dangerous and wicked neighbors. The attacks were thwarted.
Yesterday’s massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper office in Paris is an example of the monstrosity of those who would strip modern-day people, Frenchmen or others, of the right to free speech, a free press, freedom of religion, and make them subservient to radical Islamic fringe groups.
These murders show the ugliness of the ideology of the assassins who would blame their butchery on their god. Numerous Muslim leaders in various parts of the world have disassociated themselves from such terror, and declare the perpetrators are not really Muslims in spirit. Yet, militant attacks of this nature repeatedly happen throughout the world, and define militant Islamists as terrorist murderers rather than peaceful followers of peaceful religion. The nations of the world who truly seek peace cannot ignore the actions of these warmongers. They must not let terrorism disrupt daily life, and, in unity, condemn and defeat them.
The governmental leaders of the nations of the world must follow the example of Nehemiah and his wall building construction crew: continue to work as usual, make progress, but be on guard and fight if they must. Therefore the nations of the world must set their threat levels at the highest mark, take every precaution possible, give increased scrutiny to people who leave and then attempt to return to their nations, pull passports or visas of those who have traveled to be foreign fighters with terrorists, investigate any person from nations that are burdened with terrorist activity, and be ready for hard-hitting reaction and a commitment to battle. The citizen of lands engaging in such defensive actions should take a positive perspective realizing that protection from, and the stopping of, terrorism is worth the inconvenience of vigilance or conflict. We must all of every nation, every religion, every race, every society stand together against radical Islamist terrorists.
Pray that terrorist will have a truly mind altering religious experience that will change their hearts of hate into hearts of peace.
Follow the dictum “If you see something say something.”

Encourage your national leaders to act decisively to destroy terrorism.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Devotional Verses From The Book Of Ezra

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.     Ezra 3:12,13

Such was the reaction of the Jewish people when the foundation of the Temple, the house of the LORD was laid in Jerusalem after years of captivity in Babylon. Some of the really old men, who had been around decades before, and had a glimpse of that original Temple built by Solomon, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, wept loudly. They may have been sentimentally weeping with joy. Others were shouting with joy. The two sounds of joy blended together into one joyous noise and swept out down the mountain side and was heard a long way off. You can imagine that travelers on the roads and farmers in the field, and any others who heard that joyous shout looked up and said to themselves or one another “What could be going on in Jerusalem? Why are they shouting? Why are they so happy?”

Today’s post is my shout of joy, my sentimental expression of my happiness in God, and I hope through this blog it will be heard afar off. I am joyful to have Jesus as my personal savior! I am joyful to know my sins are forgiven and I am justified with God, the Father, through God, the Son, Jesus! I rejoice that He cares for me in all of life’s joys and dramas! I am joyful that I can tell you Jesus died for you, that He will forgive you, that He will bless your life forever! I am joyful that God is God and no Nebuchadnezzar, whatever his name, can thwart the will of God! In my heart I shout thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). Hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Praise Jesus! I praise Him forever! I joy in Him!

Happy new beginning to you!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Devotional Verse From Ezra

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.     Ezra 1:2

The LORD God of heaven (a.k.a. the One true God, the God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ) gave a charge, a responsibility, to the Persian king, Cyrus. That charge was to build a house for God at Jerusalem. So he sent Israelis, willing to return to Israel from Babylon, to Jerusalem to begin building that Temple. Understand now, this is a pagan king, who worshiped false gods, who acknowledges the God of heaven, states that his own position as king of the kingdoms of the earth was given to him by the LORD God of heaven, and announces that God had given him a charge. This is a big deal. This is an amazing confession by a man who doesn’t even worship the LORD God of Israel.

Now here is a lesson: government leaders, even those who do not worship the God of the Bible, are in the position they are in because God allows, or raises them, as he did Cyrus. Though their charge may be specifically different than that of Cyrus, the general charge of government is to be righteous, to suppress evil, and to do good for their people and the people of the world at large. The charge includes (among others issues) respecting the national borders of other nations; stopping persecution and beheading and crucifixion in the land they rule; ending corruption in government; using foreign aid as it is intended; breaking down racial and religious barriers; providing religious liberty for all people; establishing freedom for all their people.

Sounds like a dream come true, and it is literally a possibility held in the hands of the world’s leaders. What will they do with it?