Archive | May 2021

II Chronicles 20:21 ” After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army…”

The enemy army was converging upon them…but what would they do? The Lord had spoken earlier in this Chapter, telling them that the battle was His not theirs, They were to take up position, stand firm, and watch as He fought for them. But would they put all their trust in Him alone? I can imagine as the people gathered together there were those who doubted and those who believed that God would deliver them from the hands of the enemy. I can also imagine that this particular Scripture was recited out loud by many, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7) And with that, King Jehoshaphat made the final decision to place unarmed singers in front of the troops…making it absolutely clear who their trust was in.

II Corinthians 1:20 ” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

They say there are over 7,000 promises of God for us in the Bible. Just think of it! And Psalm 145:13 assures us that the Lord is faithful to each and every one of them. So what’s our part in this? We are to simply say “Amen!”, for He is the God of Truth and what He says is sure and true…and not one of His good promises has failed. (Joshua 23:14)

Exodus 32:1 ” When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us, as for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ “

It wasn’t like Moses was up on Mount Sinai for 40 years…he was up there for 40 days. But still the Israelites became impatient and turned away from God. Waiting on the Lord is not for the faint of heart. It takes a firm commitment, steadfast faith, and perseverance to look beyond the passing days, months, and sometimes years to that final promised prize. But it can also be a time of real personal growth. That’s because God’s plan and purpose has always been about the process and not about the end goal in your life.

I Chronicles 17:16 ” Then King David went in and sat before the Lord…”

Just before this verse, the prophet Nathan had given David the Lord’s message that it wouldn’t be him but one of his sons that would build the Temple. This all started earlier in the Chapter when King David had said to Nathan, “Here I am in a palace made of cedar, while the Ark of the Covenant is still under a tent.” So here sat David before the Lord…all his wonderful plans for a magnificent Temple dedicated to his Lord dashed. Have you ever been there? You think you know the direction God is sending you only to have Him change things completely? How did you react? But if you continue to read David’s prayer you’ll see that he wasn’t hurt but honoring God’s ultimate authority…he wasn’t resentful but resting in God’s Will for his life…he wasn’t discouraged but still very much dedicated…he wasn’t offended but instead offering up praise to his Heavenly Father…and finally, he wasn’t bitter but confident that something much better would come from it.

I Timothy 1:15-16 ” Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.”

Paul’s message here was simple and sincere…I am a sinner saved by God’s grace and nothing else…and I readily accept the fact that without it I would be spiritually dead and separated from Him forever. It is through God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience that we are led towards repentance. (Romans 2:4) And because His mercy is showered on us, we are to show mercy to this present unredeemed world… that we may receive mercy in the life to come. (Matthew 5:7)

Jeremiah 7:9-10 ” Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before Me in this house, which bears My Name, and say, ‘We are safe – safe to do all these detestable things?’ “

These verses are the true meaning of a “Sunday” Christian. They’re all pious and righteous sounding on Sunday, but live like the devil the rest of the week. They live a life completely contrary to God’s Laws, but think just because they darken the doors of a Church somehow all is forgiven. And like these verses, even go so far as to rationalize God’s got to be OK with it all. That wasn’t the truth back then, and it’s not the truth today. For anytime we do things that are considered destructive to family and society we can’t think God will somehow gloss over them.

Luke 10:2 ” He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.’ “

When you look at the people that you come in contact with everyday, do you only see family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances…or do you see them as a field of lost souls? Here Jesus is telling His disciples to pray for themselves and others to catch the vision of the harvest field before them. In John 4:35, He goes farther when He tells them, “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” It’s kind of like not being able to see the forest for the trees…the lost are all around, but we choose to indifferently turn a blind eye. But Jesus says, “Open your eyes and look!” In other words, soberly contemplate the eternal destiny of the lost souls around you…recognize you may be the only person willing to speak to them about Jesus…and finally, pray for a heart for the lost.

Exodus 4:10-12 ” Moses said to the Lord, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’ “

The Lord lays something on our heart to do…maybe it’s to go and talk to a specific person about Him, but what’s the first thing we usually do? We argue why we can’t do it, raising up every negative, self-abasing, and degrading attribute we think we have. Moses tried it here. So did Jeremiah, but the Lord gave him the same answer as He did Moses, ” Go, I have put My words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:9) But we can also listen in when Jesus was instructing His disciples in Luke 12:12, when He reassured them that, “The Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Even more, Jesus told them when they were arrested not to be worried, “Say whatever is given you at the time, for it’s not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11) So there’s no need to be afraid…for if the Lord sends you, He will give you the words at that specific time.

II John 6 ” And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.”

To walk in love is to walk in obedience, and to walk in obedience means we love one another with the unconditional love of Christ. Jesus made this very plain in John 14:15 when He said to His disciples, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” The command is very simple, we are to love one another. (John 13:34) And as we conform more and more each day…following Jesus and imitating Him…His love will be truly made complete in us. (I John 2:5)

Psalm 150:1-6 ” Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

This last chapter in the Book of Psalms pretty much sums up the who, what, where, when, and how of praising God. There’s really little left out for us to question. We are to glorify Him every time we look at His works under His vast dominion. (Psalm 103:22) We are to celebrate that His Throne will last forever and ever. (Psalm 45:6) Finally, we are to marvel in His awesome power as Moses did in Deuteronomy 3:24 when he exclaimed, “O Sovereign Lord, You have begun to show your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works You do?” Are you breathing right now? Good, you should be praising God!