Tag Archives: love
Thanking our Lord for His teachings in the 19th Chapter of the Psalms. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary is a great study tool in helping understand God’s Word.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
“The heavens so declare the glory of God, and proclaim his wisdom, power, and goodness, that all ungodly men are left without excuse. They speak themselves to be works of God’s hands; for they must have a Creator who is eternal, infinitely wise, powerful, and good. The counter-changing of day and night is a great proof of the power of God, and calls us to observe, that, as in the kingdom of nature, so in that of providence, he forms the light, and creates the darkness, Isaiah 45:7, and sets the one against the other. The sun in the firmament is an emblem of the Sun of righteousness, the Bridegroom of the church, and the Light of the world, diffusing Divine light and salvation by his gospel to the nations of the earth. He delights to bless his church, which he has espoused to himself; and his course will be unwearied as that of the sun, till the whole earth is filled with his light and salvation. Let us pray for the time when he shall enlighten, cheer, and make fruitful every nation on earth, with the blessed salvation. They have no speech or language, so some read it, and yet their voice is heard. All people may hear these preachers speak in their own tongue the wonderful works of God. Let us give God the glory of all the comfort and benefit we have by the lights of heaven, still looking above and beyond them to the Sun of righteousness.”
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
“The Holy Scripture is of much greater benefit to us than day or night, than the air we breathe, or the light of the sun. To recover man out of his fallen state, there is need of the word of God. The word translated “law,” may be rendered doctrine, and be understood as meaning all that teaches us true religion. The whole is perfect; its tendency is to convert or turn the soul from sin and the world, to God and holiness. It shows our sinfulness and misery in departing from God, and the necessity of our return to him. This testimony is sure, to be fully depended on: the ignorant and unlearned believing what God saith, become wise unto salvation. It is a sure direction in the way of duty. It is a sure fountain of living comforts, and a sure foundation of lasting hopes. The statues of the Lord are right, just as they should be; and, because they are right, they rejoice the heart. The commandments of the Lord are pure, holy, just, and good. By them we discover our need of a Saviour; and then learn how to adorn his gospel. They are the means which the Holy Spirit uses in enlightening the eyes; they bring us to a sight and sense of our sin and misery, and direct us in the way of duty. The fear of the Lord, that is, true religion and godliness, is clean, it will cleanse our way; and it endureth for ever. The ceremonial law is long since done away, but the law concerning the fear of God is ever the same. The judgments of the Lord, his precepts, are true; they are righteous, and they are so altogether; there is no unrighteousness in any of them. Gold is only for the body, and the concerns of time; but grace is for the soul, and the concerns of eternity. The word of God, received by faith, is more precious than gold; it is sweet to the soul, sweeter than honey. The pleasure of sense soon surfeit, yet never satisfy; but those of religion are substantial and satisfying; there is no danger of excess.”
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
“God’s word warns the wicked not to go on in his wicked way, and warns the righteous not to turn from his good way. There is a reward, not only after keeping, but in keeping God’s commandments. Religion makes our comforts sweet, and our crosses easy, life truly valuable, and death itself truly desirable. David not only desired to be pardoned and cleansed from the sins he had discovered and confessed, but from those he had forgotten or overlooked. All discoveries of sin made to us by the law, should drive us to the throne of grace, there to pray. His dependence was the same with that of every Christian who says, Surely in the Lord Jesus have I righteousness and strength. No prayer can be acceptable before God which is not offered in the strength of our Redeemer or Divine Kinsman, through Him who took our nature upon him, that he might redeem us unto God, and restore the long-lost inheritance. May our hearts be much affected with the excellence of the word of God; and much affected with the evil of sin, and the danger we are in of it, and the danger we are in by it.”
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.
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.
God’s Word tells us to speak His truths in boldness, which I do not have much problem with. What He is helping me with is speaking His truths in love. I take my Lord and His holiness and principles so very serious and try very hard to implement them in my own life, and sometimes I sound more harsh than I feel in my own mind when sharing those truths with others. And His Spirit is speaking to me on this subject. 😉
I like to search things in God’s Word from time to time at a place called the Blue Letter Bible. Today it was on my heart about sharing His holiness and why we hold Him up on high instead of bringing Him down to our level where we are comfortable, and doing that in a kindly, loving fashion. I found this devotional there and WOW, did it ever speak volumes to my spirit.
I share this now, not just for others who may need it but to help me internalize it and put it to use in my own walk with Jesus:
The Boldness of Grace
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness…And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:29, 31, 33)
Those who serve God acceptably must do so by grace. “Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably“(Hebrews 12:28). Those who serve by grace find that the boldness of grace develops in their lives.
The early church gave testimony to this reality. Soon after Jesus’ ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were boldly proclaiming Jesus throughout Jerusalem. This was extremely aggravating to the religious leaders: “being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2).
When they arrested the disciples, Peter boldly preached Jesus before the Jewish authorities. “This[Jesus] is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved“(Acts 4:11-12).
This bold application of prophecy and proclamation of the gospel astonished the religious establishment. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John…they marveled“ (Acts 4:13). Yet, in their hardness of heart, they further threatened the disciples.
Being released, they gathered the church to pray for continued boldness. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word.” The answer to this prayer was another filling with the Spirit, resulting in further boldness. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” This filling of the Holy Spirit brought great measures of God’s grace actively working in their lives, sustaining this powerful witness of the risen Christ. “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”
This is the boldness of the new covenant of grace. “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12). This hope is new covenant confidence. It is part of the abundant life that God brings to us by His Spirit of grace: “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life“(2 Corinthians 3:6).
“Heavenly Father, I need this same boldness in my life. Please fill me afresh with Your Spirit that I might minister in the boldness of Your grace, while bathed with Your loving kindness. Amen.”
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.
How much do we really appreciate our Pastors and their wives? They are team for the Lord in His church. We must take care not to take them for granted.
As far as I am concerned, every month should be appreciation month for them. Unfortunately there are always those few, who call themselves Born-Again Children of God, hindering and discouraging their Pastor and his Wife with fleshly behaviour. In their jealousy and desire to be ‘all important in the eyes of man’ I have witnessed them do such sin as totally ignoring their Pastor and his wife, and going over their heads to ‘do their own thing’ without seeking their Leaders’ counsel first. It makes my blood curdle when I hear them address our Pastor by his first name only, without showing due respect of using the title Pastor. Do they not understand the dissension and dis-respect they exhibit with this behaviour?! This is not only discouraging to our Leaders, but to the new members and baby Christians in God’s Church.
I was reminded in my time in God’s Word of how God looks at those who are supposedly mature Christians dis-respecting God’s chosen – Remember how God dealt with Moses and Miriam when they opposed Moses? God knows the heart and He sees everything.
1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.
13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.
Let us lift up God’s chosen leaders in prayer each day for His protection, guidance and direction. Here are a few encouraging things we can do for our Pastors and their wives:
–Most important is to pray for them and their family. D. L. Moody once said, ““Every movement of God can be traced back to a kneeling figure.”
–Send a note thanking your Pastor for how something in his God-led message spoke to you specifically and made a difference in your walk with God.
–Text or email your Pastor’s wife weekly, or whenever the Spirit lays her on your heart, and tell her something that she has done or said recently that was a blessing to you.
–Remember that your Pastor is a husband and father also. Encourage him in leading for his family, and care for them as you care him. And please, do not put unfair expectations on his children and treat them with the attitude that because they are Pastor’s children they should behave a certain way. That treatment will discourage them and cause rebellion in their hearts. I had several Pastor’s kids for friends when I was growing up, and I cannot count the times I heard them say, “People expect me to be perfect because my dad’s a Pastor,” and oh how I witnessed them rebel!
–Your Pastor’s wife needs you to be in your place if you have committed to ministry, by being faithful and responsible in your area of service in the church. When you miss a service, especially in small churches, the Pastor’s wife usually ends up doing what you committed to—such as helping in the nursery or teaching a Sunday School class. Mark 10:37-45 addresses those who begin in ministry because they want to look important, but they do not realize and consider the responsibility that comes with the commitment – “They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” If you must be absent from your place, please try to give advance notice so that planning can be done.
—This is HUGE – Please do not abandon your Pastor when he has to confront wolves or serious sin issues in the church. One of the most deflating and lonely things for a pastor is when he takes a stand on a difficult issue (say, church discipline against a longstanding member) and those he counts on for support run the other way. If your pastor is taking heat for a just cause, don’t make him wonder about where you stand. Support him. Relieve some of the pressure on him. Defend him verbally when you hear gossip, and publicly in church meetings if you need to.
–Surprise your Pastor and his wife with their favorite things. And not just on special occasions. It can do so very much to uplift their spirits by giving a gift card to Pastor’s wife to her favorite spa or a card for their favorite place for dinner together, just because.
I find it so sad that so many, even God’s chosen people, are greatly deceived and do not know the truth. But, when presented with it, they turn to the truth for the most part.
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