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“Oh, that men would praise the Lord!”

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This morning’s study of Psalm 107 clearly pictures the state of the human nature and God’s loving mercy in always forgiving us and restoring us to Him. I was struck most by the times it said “Then they cried unto the Lord…” after much tribulation due to the very consequences of our actions. Still, He gathers us to Him and forgives and loves us evermore. Why do we tend to only call on God when things are a mess? Why do we not spend time with Him each and every day so that those tribulations are minimal? There truly is none other god who even compares. Thank you YAHWEH for your precious grace and mercy which is indeed new every day!

Psalm 107

1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

4 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.

5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

6 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

7 And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.

8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Verses 1-9 “In these verses there is reference to the deliverance from Egypt, and perhaps that from Babylon: but the circumstances of travellers in those countries are also noted. It is scarcely possible to conceive the horrors suffered by the hapless traveller, when crossing the trackless sands, exposed to the burning rays of the sum. The words describe their case whom the Lord has redeemed from the bondage of Satan; who pass through the world as a dangerous and dreary wilderness, often ready to faint through troubles, fears, and temptations. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, after God, and communion with him, shall be filled with the goodness of his house, both in grace and glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.

13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.

14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.

15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

Verses 10-16 “This description of prisoners and captives intimates that they are desolate and sorrowful. In the eastern prisons the captives were and are treated with much severity. Afflicting providences must be improved as humbling providences; and we lose the benefit, if our hearts are unhumbled and unbroken under them. This is a shadow of the sinner’s deliverance from a far worse confinement. The awakened sinner discovers his guilt and misery. Having struggled in vain for deliverance, he finds there is no help for him but in the mercy and grace of God. His sin is forgiven by a merciful God, and his pardon is accompanied by deliverance from the power of sin and Satan, and by the sanctifying and comforting influences of God the Holy Spirit.”

17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

19 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.

20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Verses 17-22 “If we knew no sin, we should know no sickness. Sinners are fools. They hurt their bodily health by intemperance, and endanger their lives by indulging their appetites. This their way is their folly. The weakness of the body is the effect of sickness. It is by the power and mercy of God that we are recovered from sickness, and it is our duty to be thankful. All Christ’s miraculous cures were emblems of his healing diseases of the soul. It is also to be applied to the spiritual cures which the Spirit of grace works. He sends his word, and heals souls; convinces, converts them, makes them holy, and all by the word. Even in common cases of recovery from sickness, God in his providence speaks, and it is done; by his word and Spirit the soul is restored to health and holiness.”

23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

24 These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.

25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.

28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

32 Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Verses 23-32 “Let those who go to sea, consider and adore the Lord. Mariners have their business upon the tempestuous ocean, and there witness deliverances of which others cannot form an idea. How seasonable it is at such a time to pray! This may remind us of the terrors and distress of conscience many experience, and of those deep scenes of trouble which many pass through, in their Christian course. Yet, in answer to their cries, the Lord turns their storm into a calm, and causes their trials to end in gladness.”

33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;

34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

35 He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.

36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;

37 And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.

38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.

39 Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.

40 He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.

42 The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.

43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Verses 33-43 “What surprising changes are often made in the affairs of men! Let the present desolate state of Judea, and of other countries, explain this. If we look abroad in the world, we see many greatly increase, whose beginning was small. We see many who have thus suddenly risen, as suddenly brought to nothing. Worldly wealth is uncertain; often those who are filled with it, ere they are aware, lose it again. God has many ways of making men poor. The righteous shall rejoice. It shall fully convince all those who deny the Divine Providence. When sinners see how justly God takes away the gifts they have abused, they will not have a word to say. It is of great use to us to be fully assured of God’s goodness, and duly affected with it. It is our wisdom to mind our duty, and to refer our comfort to him. A truly wise person will treasure in his heart this delightful psalm. From it, he will fully understand the weakness and wretchedness of man, and the power and loving-kindness of God, not for our merit, but for his mercy’s sake.”

Prayer/Meditation: From David’s time, O God, you appointed Jerusalem as a holy city, the city for Your temple. Even more, Jerusalem became the place where You secured my Salvation through the death of David’s descendant, the Lord Jesus. And thank You that Jerusalem endures a a symbol of the place where I will be ever in Your presence. I long for the time when I enjoy “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven” (Revelation 21:2) throughout eternity. Amen

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in God's Love

 

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Oh that My People had Hearkened unto Me!

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Psalm 81 was part of my devotion time with my Lord this morning. I could not help but feel an overwhelming sadness for God’s people, for those at the time God inspired this writing and in our world today. As I grow closer to my Lord each day, I consider how it must truly wound Him when His children do not “hearken” unto Him and His Word. What blessings we miss out on!!

Psalms 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.

“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.”

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.

“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 willfulness. 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 February 6, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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No Greater Love!

Well, here we are in a brand new year. For me, 2016 was not so bad. I have many blessings to count. As I move into 2017, I am reminded of God’s words in John 15. The command that Jesus gave the brethren to love one another. Isn’t it bad enough that the world is our enemy and inflicts all sorts of evil upon us? The world knows not the Father, but the brethren do know Him. Let us not act like the world for we are not of this world. As we know, being Christian does not mean we are perfect; we are just doing our best to grow to be like Jesus more every day. We will offend each other, and when we do, we must ask forgiveness and forgive. And, when one asks forgiveness, let us not demand our “pound of flesh,” which comes from pride through our enemy, but as Jesus said, “Forgive as I have forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32. Let us join together as His children and truly love one another that the world may see that love that comes from our Heavenly Father and want to be a part of God’s Kingdom too.

John 15

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in God's Love

 

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He Knew Me Then

I came across this old Dallas Holm song I have not heard for years and was reminded that I did not have to clean myself up from my sin to make Jesus love me. He knew me when I turned Him away and He loved me any way. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” HE LOVED ME BACK TO HIM!

Please do not listen to the enemy’s lies. We do not have to clean up for Jesus to love us. I am so very glad that you love me in spite of me. When I think on the days I was in the world because I believed I was unworthy, I am horrified at the thought of ever going back again. Thank you my Jesus for what you have done and are doing in me.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2016 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Shew Him My Salvation”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part VII of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

VII. “I Will Shew Him My Salvation” That is a sweet promise! God can say to the angels – “Hark to that man that was once down in the depths, down in the gutter, but now he is lifted up and set upon My throne with My Son.” Thank God for the riches of His grace in CHRIST Jesus!

I believe we do not learn the fringe of the subject of Salvation down here. When our Master was on earth, He said He had many more things to say, but He could not reveal them to His disciples because they were not ready to receive them. But when we go yonder, where these mortal bodies have put on immortality, when our spiritual faculties are loosed from the thraldom (the state of being under control of another person; bondage; slavery) of the flesh, I believe we shall be able to take more in. God will lead us from glory to glory, and show us the fullness of our Salvation. Don’t you think Moses knew more at the Mount of Transfiguration than he did at Pisgah? Did not Christ talk with him then about the death He was to accomplish at Jerusalem? Moses could not have received that truth before, any more than the disciples could, but when he had received his glorified body, Christ could show him everything. (End of The Ninety-First Psalm Sermon)

(It is beyond human comprehension to understand all that is involved in the Sanctification process to our Heavenly, Glorified state. No matter how hard I try, my mind cannot totally grasp everything that happens when we go from mortality to immortality. It makes my brain hurt to try, so I have come to the conclusion that it really does not matter to me. It is enough, for now, to just know that it will happen. On the other hand, I sometimes wish with all of my heart that I could understand things that God allows while we walk through this state of mortality like, Why do the righteous, who are doing all they can to live Godly lives, end up being the ones who are so persecuted and hurt by evil ones who are of this world, and it appears that it is the evil ones who prosper and seem to get away with their sin? It breaks my heart. I know that in the end those who remain evil will face the consequences of their evilness in the end, so I strive to trust that God is in control and He has a purpose for everything. Romans 8:28. God’s Word tells us “My thoughts are not your thoughts…” and “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 I know that once I see my Saviour face-to-face all will be understood; all questions will be answered. But, will I really care about these things then? Perhaps not. Anna)

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in God's Love

 

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The Last Week in the Life of Jesus – Day 7 – Saturday

As it was with the 4th day, day 7 must also have been quiet for Jesus. So, I decided to use this day to share why Easter holds an extra special place in my heart.

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

It was Easter Sunday of 1965, I was nearly 10 years old. Our family went to visit our grandmother’s church in Glenwood Springs. I will never forget the gripping sadness that overwhelmed my soul while the teacher taught about the 3 hours of darkness while Jesus was covered with the sins of the world. I understood that my sin was included in that most horrible moment for Jesus when, for the first and only time ever, He was separated from His Holy Father. I also understood that I had 2 choices, either to accept Jesus and live in Heaven with Him forever, or ignore Jesus and go to hell forever.

I was consumed with a sense of urgency when I told the teacher that I needed to “ask Jesus to forgive me and come into my heart.” I remember as if it were yesterday how it looked dark outside the one small window high up on the wall of the Sunday school room when the teacher led me to a small desk at the back of the room. I sat down in the desk and the teacher knelt next to me and held my hand. I told Jesus that I was really sorry for my ugly sins and that He had to die on the cross and be away from His Father.

While my eyes were still closed, I could see the room getting brighter through the window, and when I opened my eyes, the clouds were gone and it was bright and sunny! Such wonderful joy and love I felt, and I wanted to tell everyone!

As a child, I looked at those few very special moments as God doing something extra special just for me. I just knew for sure that He made the darkness outside fade away into bright sunshine just for me because that was what happened as I prayed. I guess that is a good way to describe how His saving power and grace took me from the darkness of my sin to a Light-filled life in Christ.

Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in God's Love

 

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How to Endure Suffering No. 4

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Wrong Way No. 4 – Decide the Limits to Your Own Endurance

God’s Way – Know that God sets and knows your limits – 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Okay, so I am wondering, “What does deciding the limits to my own endurance have to do with being tempted to sin?” I looked up the usage of the word temptation in this verse in my Strong’s Concordance to make sure I am understanding its meaning correctly. It is derived from the Greek word peirasmos, which means “of trial definitely designed to lead to wrong doing.” It is not the temptation that is sin, it becomes sin when the temptation is put into action.

I believe that God is showing me something very specific here. I know that I have bad days and good days, and just when I think maybe I am doing better, boom! Down I go again feeling the anger at what my Momma had to go through, how she fought so hard, and she died anyway. Although I would never do anything to take my own life, I must admit to feelings that have me crying out to God some times, “Please just take me Home!”

These kinds of thoughts are of satan and they are a temptation to take things into my own hands instead of trusting my Heavenly Father. He truly does know me better than I know myself, and He is the only one who knows how long this season needs to last to bring me nearer to Him. I take comfort in His promise – He will not suffer me to be tempted above that which I am able, and He will also make a way for me to escape the temptation so that I am able to bear it.

Here again is where our brothers and sisters in Christ can be a tremendous help. It might be a Christian (sister for women and brother for men) whom we know we can trust with utmost confidence. We may just need someone to show us the love of Jesus by holding us while we cry, share encouraging words or sing praising hymns to guide our thoughts back to Jesus. I am learning that when I do not ‘feel’ like praising, that is the best time to push through the pain and do it anyway. It becomes easier as I press on.

Depending upon the type of suffering we are enduring and how intense it becomes, some of us may need the aid of a counselor. If that be the case, I strongly suggest a strong, Biblical-based Christian counselor such as your church pastor or assistant pastor. The world’s psychology tends to keep us stuck in our pain, rather than healing us. Too many spend years, and in some cases most of their lives trying to get better in a psychiatrist’s office. If it takes years, then it is not working. God is the only one who can truly heal our crushed spirits.

I like how Nancy Missler puts it in her study “Be Ye Transformed” Understanding God’s Truth. “One of the reasons why I believe psychology can be so dangerous is that it’s really another gospel. It leads us to the wrong goal–being conformed to the world’s image, and not Christ’s. Psychology can be dangerous because it causes confusion and it really promotes a lie. It promises to heal us, to remove strongholds from us, to help our relationships, and to help us progress in our Christian walk. The truth is, however, psychology doesn’t heal us, it doesn’t remove strongholds, but often strengthens them, it doesn’t improve relationships, and it doesn’t help us in our Christian walk. In fact, sometimes we even end up even worse off than when we started.” She then quotes from letters she received that actually validate her words.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in God's Love

 

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