A SUMMER OF PSALMS

We used to sing that chorus every Sunday of the world!  I remember looking out at the congregation as we sang – and people were smiling!  It’s very difficult to sing that chorus and not feel joy!  Have you thanked God for this day?  Will you rejoice and be glad in it?

So, when a Sunday School teacher is late getting to church because her curling iron accidentally melted her hair clip and she had to find a replacement at the Dollar Tree on the way to church, and she feels all bummed and stressed out and knows she won’t have time to set her classroom up the way she planned to, does that mean she is not rejoicing and being glad?  Well…  yes.  Yes, it does.  And yes, that really happened.  You can’t make that up!

How about those times when you’re sitting in church service trying to concentrate on the sermon, but you keep thinking about all the paperwork that is waiting for you at work on Monday morning?  Oh, don’t tell me that’s never happened to you.

This verse does not tell us to dwell on anything that happened last week.  It doesn’t tell us to think about things that haven’t even happened yet – but will next week.  This verse is saying THIS is the day the LORD has made.  Today.  Now.  Present.  Live in this moment and rejoice in it.  Yesterday is over and tomorrow isn’t promised.  Leave all the rest of the days where they belong and rejoice.  Praise God because He inhabits our praise.  He delights in our praise.

We rejoice because of the blessings of grace, peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation.  None of these things have anything to do with us, and everything to do with God.  He gives us His grace.  He is our peace.  He offers us pardon.  He is the root of righteousness.  He alone is the path to salvation.

This is the day the LORD has made.  Here.  Now.  Rejoice and be glad in it.  Look in the mirror and know that you’re seeing salvation from the hand of God.  You have to feel joy when you realize that truth!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Carry PEACE in your pocket.  If only we’d all do that, what a difference we’d see in this ol’ world.

I’ve known so many beautiful souls.  I’ll bet you know a few of them too.  The most wonderful thing about them is, they know they aren’t beautiful souls because it is their sheer determination to be nice or good.  They are beautiful souls because of their personal relationship with Christ Jesus.  They know that He gives them the ability to be compassionate, humble, kind, meek and patient.  God is pleased when His children are obedient, and even more pleased when He gets the credit – the glory – for it.

Lucinda has posted a verse about kindness every day – as part of Lent – she’s not giving something up, rather she is giving something – kindness.  What a wonderful idea!  I like it.  I thought this one was particularly nice for today’s post.Notice what words are used…  FILL, SHOW.  You mean these attributes don’t just magically appear once we’re saved?  Does a Father just automatically offer good gifts if their children never speak to him or offer some sort of effort in a relationship?  Well…  not usually.  Our Heavenly Father wants us to ask Him for what we need to be Christ-like in our lives.  We ask for His compassion, His strength, His mercy and then we ask Him to show us where these things need to be shown the most.

I’m not righteous in myself – nobody is.  It’s all about the LORD and nothing about me.  If there’s any redeeming qualities in me – I praise Him because it’s definitely not my nature.  If I was left to my own devices, I’d probably be the least patient person in the world.  I do literally have to ask God to help me when I’m standing in a long line or feel that twinge of impatience coming over me.  Part of it is because I have so much pain when I stand for long periods of time – but some of it is just that human nature wanting to come through.  God’s the only one who can keep it under control and surround me with His way – and His way is so much better.

 

 

 

GALATIANS 2:20 ON 2/20

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I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.   – Galatians 2:20

The first step toward understanding the narrow path that we’re called to walk is understanding Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.  In the 20th verse we read that there should be Christ-centered living.  Our Savior lives in us and we live by faith in Him because he loved us and gave His life for us.

Paul emphasizes how life with Christ is so much better than life under the law.  The law could not make men righteous before God, yet in Christ they were made righteous.  By dying to self and embracing Christ, clinging to Him rather than cold, empty law…  they were able to rise to a new spiritual life as they fixed their eyes upon the cross of Christ.

The “old man” – dies to self and the old sin nature – and is given a life of close and intimate communion with God through Christ Jesus.  Faith in self turns to faith in Him, His way, His peace and His love.  We rely fully on Him for pardon, righteousness, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and eternal salvation.

In Paul, the old law lost its power and ceased to influence him.  That means that he declared himself divorced from such things as the LOVE of money, the PRIDE of life and the DOMINION of hateful and evil passions.  These things that are so meaningful in the world around us, ceased to influence him – and were also crucified with Christ.

While we still live in these bodies of flesh, our spirits are renewed and recharged daily by the Lord.  We’re not given a pass from sufferings, grief or loss in life – but we know that our Lord is there to help us through them.  🙂

 

 

 

MATTHEW 5:10 ON 5/10

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Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:10

Persecution…  I don’t believe Christians in America are actually persecuted like others around the world.  I believe we feel threatened now more than ever because our right to practice our religion freely seems less likely with the passing of time.  Sometimes it just seems the wicked win, doesn’t it?  But we’ve read the back of the Book – and we know the wicked won’t win in the end.  God and His children win.GOD'S GOT YOU

We’re encouraged that those persecuted because of righteousness are blessed of God and theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Even when it seems that God isn’t paying attention, we need to realize that He is very much aware of your situation – and the fact that you are being persecuted for your faith.

In Egypt and all Arab Muslim countries, public distribution of Bibles and Christian literature to Muslims is considered a crime. According to Egyptian law, a Christian can be instantly arrested and charged with insulting the state religion if they are caught distributing such materials. This charge might result in three-year imprisonment. Some Egyptian brothers and sisters have received similar sentences and are now serving time in various prisons throughout Egypt.

Meanwhile back in the USA, we argue and debate and bicker about the most stupid things – seriously.  Some of the subjects of discussion are pure distraction from the important issues we need to be focusing on.  Are we sharing our faith with people really???  Let’s face it, so far in America, we can still post GOOD MORNING AND GOD BLESS YOU on facebook with no fear of imprisonment.

I’m not suggesting that we throw ourselves in harm’s way in a purposeful manner – but I do believe we need to remember that our time is short and there are so many lives to touch.  Our brothers and sisters in Egypt share Christ knowing that if caught, they face jail time, and I’d say in some cases, worse.  According to this beatitude, they are blessed of God for the risk they take.

Keep those who are truly persecuted in your daily prayers.  May God continue to bless and protect them.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

PSALM 1:6 ON 1/6

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For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.  – Psalm 1:6          

As I spend time in prayer for America, my mind goes back to this portion of Scripture.  When it comes to situations and circumstances beyond my control, I have to leave things in the very capable hands of God.  Sometimes it seems as though the wicked are winning in life, doesn’t it?  God says their way will perish, so I have to believe that my faith and trust in Him is not in vain.  I will gain heaven one day for eternity, and in my mind that’s a win.  The rest of the stuff on this earth will all pass away.  Eternity with Christ is the goal.

In 2016 I’m going to strive even more to be righteous and the person that God wants me to be.  I want all of God’s blessings.  I don’t want to be the chaff that blows from the grain when the wind blows.  I pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit in my daily life this year.

HEAVEN'S WAITING

The wicked have a choice to change, and I pray they will before it’s too late.  The blessings from God are only for the ones covered by the blood of Christ.  He died for everyone on Calvary.  My Salvation cost Him His life.

 The righteous.  They that endeavour righteous living in themselves and have Christ’s righteousness imputed to them.  – Thomas Wilcocks, 1586.

The world sees righteous living as a sort of lifestyle that implies that the righteous think they are “better than” others.  I’m not sure where that perception comes from, but I suspect it’s an impression that makes the enemy of our soul laugh with glee.  I assure you it’s a misconception.  As I said, Christ paid the ultimate price to save everyone.  It makes all who trust Him better by virtue of faith, but not better in the sense that we think we are superior in any way.  You can receive Him as your Savior today.  Just ask Him to come into your heart and life.  He loves you and has a great big heaven waiting for you!  🙂

      

              

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

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God keeps His promises. People on this earth make and break promises every day. Children of God who earnestly seek Him and want to lean on Him are known as righteous. Seeking a righteous lifestyle brings eternal rewards from our Lord. He is not a man so He will never lie. He has never broken one promise and He never will. There are Biblical accounts of God’s precious promises and how those promises were fulfilled.

One in particular is only eleven verses long. The short story begins in the 25th verse of the 2nd chapter of the book of Luke in God’s Word, The Holy Bible. A righteous man named Simeon was promised by the Holy Spirit of God that he would not die before he had seen Christ. He was rewarded for his righteous life. He did see Christ at the temple courts.

Verses 28-32 tell us that Simeon took Him (baby Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying:

Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel.

Then in verses 34-35 we are told that Simeon blessed the father and mother. Then he said,

This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

At Christmas I not only celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but I look forward to the second and final coming of this same Christ! With the same Holy Spirit infilling that Simeon had, I feel a great deal of anticipation in my soul about the time when God turns to His Son and tells Him it’s time to whisk us all up and take us home. I’m ready and I hope you are too! ❤