In my devotions this week a portion of Scripture stood out to me and it became the Message for today. Psalms 73: “ Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever. For, lo, they that are far from Thee shall perish … But it is good for me to Draw Near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.” It is easy in our day to fall short of being “near” our God. The trials and stresses of our day cause us to temporarily fall short of the Glory of God. We do not mean to walk a distance away, but the cares of this life seem to draw us and tempt us and soon we are a distance away from our Lord. We are not backslidden, we are just going our won way taking care of business and Ooops we are a bit off the “Path of Righteousness.” Let me point to God’s Word, a powerful Word, I might add: Prov. 8:20-21 “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that Love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Our Lord’s desire is to lead us in paths of righteousness, that is the “right path.” The Paths of His Grace, His Mercy, His Peace. He has said He will not leave us nor forsake us. Let us hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the Church. The most famous of all Scripture is Psalm 23, vs 3: “He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake. Have you ever wondered why Jesus pursues us so intensely? He is always present with us even when we do not desire Him to be there. But He is Faithful to never give up on us. Perhaps the desire of His heart is that we “Draw near with a true heart in full assurance of Faith” when we are in the midst of some trial or test of our Faith. I hear the power of His Word from James 4:7-8 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you …” There is a lot to meditate upon in that verse. We must resist the enemy of our soul and we must draw nigh to our God – And God is Faithful to draw nigh unto us! O Thank you Jesus! His desire is that we purify our hearts and not be double minded. Blessing you and loving you, Pastor
Thursday, July 13, 2017
God’s Message to the Israelite Nation came forth with power as He spoke to the new leadership, Joshua. As God spoke to them it became a command as we see in vs. 9 of Joshua 1: “Have not I commanded Thee? Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord Thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” God is calling for Strong saints and those who are of Good Courage: He uses powerful words such as “be not afraid” – “or dismayed!” Fear has swept through our nation, mainly because a segment of people did not get their own way and perhaps the fear of new leadership. There will always be a note of fear if one does not know the Lord Jesus Christ nor the Strength that is in the Word of God. Hear the Word of the Lord: Rom 13:1-2 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. VS6 For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers ...” Now it is our moment to fear God, trust His leadership and to be Strong and Courageous as His Word commands. The Word of the Lord commands us to be Strong all through the Old Testament and then we turn to the fulfillment of the Law and see that there is a “Strong” message in the New Testament. And this is a powerful Passage that most Christians are familiar with ... Eph. 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be Strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Daniel was called to obedience and God gave him this consolation ... 11:32 “And such as do wickedly against the Covenant shall He corrupt ...: but the people that do know their God shall be Strong, and do exploits.” We are strong in Him!
Loving you, Pastor
As I mused on the celebration of July 4th my thoughts wondered to our Founding Fathers and what must have driven them to offer their fortunes and their lives to set forth the Declaration of Independence for our nation? I read again the “quotes” from last week’s bulletin, and as I read them, the Lord reminded me of that Passage of Scripture declaring a “Sure Foundation!” When I found that Scripture, it was a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah. As I thought upon this Scripture – God had not only promised a “Sure Foundation” in Zion/Jerusalem and in Christ, but He had placed a “Sure Foundation” in our world. He had used our Forefathers to lay a Strong and Sure Foundation in the United States of America. It was interesting to note that this Passage of Scripture also contained the fact that impending judgment was coming to Judah because of “scornful men that ruled their people” – they made “lays their refuge and hid themselves in falsehood.” It sounded much like what is happening in our country today. What we need to remember – is we have “Hope & are Comforted” – consider this Word of the Lord – “Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath Loved us, and hath given us Everlasting Consolation and Good Hope through Grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good Word and work” [2 Thes. 2:16-17]. Our Hope, while established on God’s Promise is grounded on a “Sure Foundation” today and from the beginning of time. “Of old Thou has laid the Foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. [Ps.102:5] God’s Word talks a lot about our Foundation. The Prophets of God declared His Word: Isaiah 48:12-13 Hearken unto Me ... My called; I Am He; I Am the First, I also Am the Last. Mine hand also hath laid the Foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens:” My thoughts turned to the New Testament as I hear Paul say: “For other Foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ!” From the Foundations of our known world, God’s plan has been Righteousness and this has been in Christ Jesus! And in Eph. 1:4 “We have been chosen in Christ before the Foundation of the world ...” therefore He has laid a “Sure Foundation” in our world and in the world to come, Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone of our all that we are or ever will be.
Loving you, Pastor