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|Posted on October 11, 2016 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 105:1-7 (KJV) – Tell of All His Wonderful Acts
This is a song of praise. The fact that portions of Psalm 105 and 106 are quoted in 1 Chronicles 16, indicates that these may have been sung during times of worship.
105:1 O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
Thanksgiving Day in the USA is rapidly approaching. What are some of the many things for which we, as a nation, should thank the Lord this year? We still enjoy the freedom and privilege to worship our Lord publicly. We should be thankful for our leaders even if we disagree with them. We should be thankful that so far we are not a dictatorship. We should be thankful that God is on the side of those who believe wherever they live, and He is in control even though sometimes it may not feel like He is.
The Israelites were God’s chosen people, but they were chosen to convey His message to other nations. We, as Christians, God’s chosen children are to be a light in a dark world. What deeds of the Lord do we need to make known to the nations? We need to share the Gospel – the Good News that Jesus died for our sin, was raised on the third day, and offers the gift of salvation to all who will believe. We need to share that the Lord is our sustainer – we are not dependent on anyone, not even our governmental system, to provide for our needs. God provides for His children. We need to share the specifics of each of our journeys with the Lord in order to encourage other believers and draw non-believers to Jesus. We need to share God’s wonderful deeds so that others may taste and see that the Lord is good.
Psalm 105:2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
We sing as a part of worship services. Are we singing to the congregation or to the Lord? We are singing with the congregation, but our focus should be solely the audience of One, the Lord. Do we have to be excellent vocalists in order to praise the Lord in song? No, we don’t, and I certainly am not. But God does have a requirement for those who are not vocalists – make a noise with joy in your heart.
Psalm 95:2 (KJV) Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
When should we talk about what God has done on our behalf? Just on Sundays? No, we should talk about the Lord whenever the opportunity presents itself. Our joy in the Lord should spill over at all times, and we should encourage one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
Colossians 3:16 (VOICE) Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness.
Psalm 105:3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
As Gloria Gather wrote, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name.” How do we glory in the name of our God? We do not “take it in vain.” We have a reverent attitude toward the names of the Lord. We try to live in a way as to never bring shame to the name of the Lord, and we rejoice to be called by His name – Christians (little Christs). We are soldiers in the army of the Lord, under command of the Lord of Hosts, following the greatest Leader of all time who is awe-inspiring. We glory not in our own accomplishments but in the fact that we belong to His family of faith. Much better than being the quarterback on the best football team or the soloist for the best opera company.
We are fulfilled, content, enriched when we pursue the Lord. Therefore, we will rejoice as we seek and find the Lord.
Psalm 105:4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
Once we have committed our lives to Jesus, do we still need to seek the Lord? We need to be in intimate, contemplative, communion with the Lord to have the strength to face what comes to us in this world every day. As we have studied in 1 Peter and as we read publications by “Voice of the Martyrs,” we realize persecution may strike home with us someday. The only way to be prepared, to have strength to stand in that hour, is to constantly be seeking to know God more deeply and pursue His will.
We are the bride of Christ, which makes Jesus the Bridegroom. Does a bride know her husband as well on her wedding day as she will on her 50th wedding anniversary? No, it takes a lifetime of discovery and learning the layers of un-mined gold in a person to truly know them. So it is with our Bridegroom. We know Him as our Savior and Lord as soon as we surrender to His call, but we will not know Him fully until we are with Him forever in Heaven. Part of our joy on this earth is our deepening relationship with Jesus each day.
What actions do we take to continually seek His face, to become more intimate with the Lord? We spend time talking and listening to Him – prayer. Not just a laundry list of what we need and/or want. First we should praise Him for how wondrous and great He is and how blessed we are to be a part of His forever family. We need to be honest in our relationship with Him, confessing when we fall short of His commands, and receiving His forgiveness. When we present our petitions, there are boundaries, they should be in line with His will.
Another important component in pursuing God’s face is to be involved in Bible study. Not just a quick reading of the word, but seeking to understand and meditate upon the things we learn.
Can we truly find intimacy with God, if we pray and read the word, but fail to obey what we see there? The Pharisees are a clear example of how it doesn’t work to have head knowledge without a heart commitment. Just as marriage involves a commitment to your spouse, a relationship with the Lord is based on commitment to follow the truth He shows you.
Psalm 105:5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
The Jewish nation was called upon to remember God’s works, wonders, and judgements. Let’s list a few of the things they would recount:
2. Sarah bearing Isaac in old age
3. Deliverance from Egypt
4. Parting the Red Sea
5. Cloud by day and Fire by Night
6. Judgment after the Golden Calf incident
7. Judgement against Achan
8. Victory at Jericho
9. Giving them the Promised Land
These are just a few. More will be brought out in the rest of this Psalm.
What works, wonders, and judgements might modern believers remember? We might remember the 7 wonders of the world – both ancient and modern which men may think they had a hand in, but God orchestrated them. I think of the wonder of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite as well as the beauty of Hawaii and Alaska in my travels. We might reflect on God’s hand in the formation of our own country. We might ponder whether some catastrophic events were a judgement from God as a wake-up call, such as 9/11/2001 or Katrina. Foremost, we recall the finished work of Jesus on the cross that purchased our salvation.
Psalm 105:7 He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
God was not just the God of Israel. His works were not just for the benefit of the Jews. He is not the God of a single nation today. God’s people are a kingdom not seen with eyes, a kingdom whose boundaries are not drawn on a map. Our God is not confined to a temple made with human hands. He is everywhere at all times!
Chew on This: Ponder God’s wonders, works, and judgements found in the Bible and evident today. Meditate on His omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience (everywhere, all powerful, all-knowing). Praise Him for including you in His family. If you have not yet surrendered your life to Him, please do so today!
|Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Jesus Prayed for Future Believers
John 17:20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Jesus prayed not only for the apostles and other disciples who walked beside Him during His time on earth: He prayed for us! He prayed for those who would come to know Him through the testimony of His disciples throughout history. The Lord prayed that the church, including the modern church would work in unity, that we would be one with God and each other. In this manner, we would be an earthly reflection of the harmony that the Trinity enjoys. Our unity, our love for one another, our ability to work toward the common goal of making Jesus known is a powerful testimony to unbelievers.
John 17:22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Jesus prayed for unity among the believers based on their oneness with Him and the Father. Christians can know unity among themselves if they are living in union with God. God has given us the capacity to be in agreement, one with the Father, son, and Holy Spirit. The church is built on the rock of truth that Jesus is the Son of God, and He is the head of His body, the church. As we submit to the head, everyone plays an equal, vital part in the body. Cooperation and teamwork build the Kingdom of God. The process of becoming the church happens as we develop our relationships with Him and each other. As believers are unified, we become a powerful witness to the reality of God’s love.
Q – Ask yourself the question, “Am I helping to unify the body of Christ, the church?” Ways of doing so include praying for other Christians, avoiding gossip, building others up, working together in humility, giving of your time and money, exalting Christ, and refusing to get sidetracked arguing over divisive matters.
|Posted on July 5, 2016 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy
John 16:16 (ESV) “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”
Soon Jesus would die on the cross and be resurrected to life again, but then after 40 days, He would ascend to the Father. The disciples would have to wait until the Feast of Pentecost to “see” Jesus once more. After Jesus ascended to the Father, the disciples would see Jesus through the activity of the Holy Spirit. This is how we see Jesus today, by recognizing the working of the Spirit in the lives of believers. As the beautiful old hymn says, “Let others see Jesus in you…”
John 16:17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.”
The disciples did not have a clue what Jesus was talking about or what was going on. They may have felt “a little while” was a bit vague. How long would they be without Him? How could He be with them if He had gone to the Father who obviously was in Heaven? They were left with questions that made their brains go tilt. But instead of asking the Source, they just kept wondering among themselves. Oops, do I do that? Do we grumble among ourselves instead of praying about a confusing situation? Do we go to the phone instead of the throne?
John 16:19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?
Jesus, of course, being omniscient (knowing everything), knew what they had been asking each other. So He calls them on it.
John 16:20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.
Jesus told them that while they were crying, even wailing, the world would have a party. The Pharisees would think they had succeeded in defeating the One they feared. They would incorrectly suppose that Jesus could not possibly be a threat to them anymore. WRONG! Once Jesus was resurrected and had returned to the Father, He could be with each believer at the same time through the power of the Holy Spirit within them. Even when they were no longer traveling as a group of disciples, when they would later be scattered due to persecution, the Lord would be with each individual. Therefore, every Christian can experience the joy of His presence no matter where we are! A demonstration of God’s multiplication. He can be everywhere He needs to be all at once. He is not only omniscient (all-knowing) but also omnipresent (everywhere at once). This is accomplished through indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every Christian.
Q – Many times we question what the Lord is doing. When those times occur, we need to take those questions directly to God. He can handle that. As Psalm 103:13-14 reminds us “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” The Father knows we have limited ability to understand, so I am confident He understands when we have questions. Other believers can help us understand things, but never neglect to take the question directly to the Lord. His Holy Spirit can restore your joy even when you still are waiting on His answers.