Who am I

IMG_0112Exodus 3:11

And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Have you ever wondered why God uses certain people to complete His will on this earth?  Moses gave up the palace life he was living in Egypt and was dwelling  in the land of Midian as a shepherd.  From his youth he had been blessed, but one wrong decision made him run from everything dear to him and caused him to start his life over again.  The Bible is full of examples that God has given us to explore.  We see the life of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph given to us in the book of Genesis.  We also see the lives of Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and David given to us a great man of faith.  But why were they chosen by God to be used by God?

I believe Christ has an answer for us in Matthew 26:42  “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”   All the examples given above was willing to say to God “Thy will be done”.  Sometimes the events in our life done not go according to our plans.  These examples had to chose to let “Thy will be done” in their life.  Paul had to make the same choose in Acts 9:5 “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutes: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  Was Paul going to continue his task of breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord and having them arrested or was he going to accept the Lord as the Messiah?  Yes the decision seems to be easy, and yet as I look around and see how many people who profess to know Christ live a life that denies the truth given us in the scriptures I begin to realize that most are not willing to say “Thy will be done” in their life.

 

Trial of your faith

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That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perished, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The battle lines have been drawn.  It is either your faith in Christ or the things of this world.  As our faith grows so will the conflicts in our life.  This is what the apostles warned us about:

I Peter 4: 11,12

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:   But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Paul write in II Corinthians 5:19 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  This passing away of the old things puts us in conflict with the world.

 

Finally

SunsetEphesians 6: 10-12

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.  (KJV)

Finally, after Paul had written his message to the Ephesians he gives them this last piece of advise.  Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Paul knew the power of the Lord’s might from his daily living in doing the will of God.  This strength came from the faith that Paul experience day  in and day out in the Lord.  Paul knew this faith came by trusting only in Christ, and not in his own abilities or of the abilities of these around him.  This is the same faith that we need to have as we walk daily with the Lord.

Paul after writing to the Ephesians on how to live to Christian life pointed them to the real enemy we face the devil.  In verse twelve he writes “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.”   This battle is real.  Satan’s goal is simply to create a Godless society, a society that does not recognizes God.  A society in which man is the supreme  beings.  So what place do you place God in your life? 

Psalm 53

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The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.  God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.  Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.  Will the evildoers never learn those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on God?  There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. God scattered the bones of those who attacked you; you put them to shame, for God despised them.  Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!  (NIV)

Who is a fool? According to Merriam-Webster, the word means a person lacking in judgment or prudence. In verse, one of this psalms the psalmist describes a foolish person first as one that rejects God.  In other words this person is Godless someone who has rejected and denies that God exist. The psalmist then describes them as being corrupt and their ways as being vile. This is the state of a man who rejects God. This psalm of David along with Psalm fourteen is used by Paul in Romans chapter three. Paul’s conclusion is found in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” As I study this psalm, I realize the truth found in Hebrews 2:3 “how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”  The first step in grabbing hold of this great salvation knows God.

The theme of the seeking God is clear in this Psalm. The fool is the one that rejects God, the one who denies God, and his way. How about the wise person are they the one that seeks after God?  According to this Psalm “Then God look down from heaven he saw that the sons of men did not seek Him.”  So as we see here as well as in the Gospels that God, sends his salvation to us.  He send his Son to us as the way, the truth and the life.  It was God that opened the path of salvation to sinful man.  Only after we open our eyes to the sinfulness nature that resides within our own being will we be able to gravitate to the opens arms of the Lord.  Then the gospel is preached man has one of three decisions to make:  one is to live outside of the gospel and without God, to understand the gospel, but reject the salvation provided by Christ, or embrace the great salvation provided by the blood of Christ.

God’s Ways

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As I read the first five chapters of Psalms and the first chapter of Proverbs I can not help but reflect upon the way I walk in this world.  Today I started my readings with Proverbs chapter one instead of first chapter of the Book of Psalms.   In the opening six verses Solomon gives ten reasons for writing the Proverbs.  These reasons are:

for attaining wisdom and discipline

for understanding words of insight

for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life

for doing what is right and just and fair

for giving prudence to the simple

for giving knowledge and discretion to the young

for letting the wise listen and add to their learning

for letting the discerning get guidance  

for understanding proverbs and parables

for understanding the sayings and riddles of the wise.

As I study the book of Proverbs I have gained great insight in the study of human nature.  Just by reading over the ten reasons I realize that fools, sinners, murders, robbers, liars, simpleminded and those that do not have the fear of God will not be reading the books of Psalms and Proverbs.  However wisdom is still calling out to those in need.  Her presence can be heard and seen in the streets, in the gateways as she makes her speeches.  Wisdom speaks out and rebukes their foolish ways.   Wisdom pours out her heart to give them wisdom, to teach them discipline and show them knowledge and discretion.  However, they remain in their ways.  So when bad times over take them when they reject wisdom’s way she laughs at them, she mocks them and she does not answer them.  Why?  Because they choose not to fear the Lord and spurn the knowledge of wisdom.  They just want help out of their problems, they have no desire to change their ways.

As I read the words found in Luke 15:11-31 I see the father of the prodigal son follow the same path as wisdom does in the verses of Proverbs chapter one.  This principle of returning back to wisdom is importance for all parents to grasp.  We can add much to the story found in this parable but here are the facts: the younger son want his share of the estate, the father gave it to him.  The younger son squandered his share and then had to take a job which did not pay enough to meet his needs. It was not until he came to his senses that he returned to the father.  As we study the principle of returning home it is importance to realize that there must be a change in a person’s walk or way of life.  If there is no change they will just return to the condition that they were in before they were bailed out of the problems that they are experiencing at the time.  Therefore, offers to help, or forcing the foolish one to go the right way is not an option.  The wayward one must turn and come back home to the way of wisdom.

The final words of Proverb chapter one reinforces this principle.  “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.  Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.  For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”  These verses are sometimes difficult for a parent to heed who has a wayward child.  No parent who truly loves their child wants to see their child fail.  But the truth is everyone is accountable to God for the way in which they walk and it is more important to reinforce this principle then reinforcing a way of life without the fear of God guiding it.   

There is none to compare with Thee

Psalm 40: 5-8IMG_0197

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (NIV)
 

In Psalm 40 verse five David states “Many, O Lord my God are the wonders which Thou hast done, and thy thoughts toward us: There is none to compare with Thee; if I would declare and speak of them they would be too numerous to count.”

As I read and study the Psalms, I realize that living a Christ-like life is easy until I have to put down the Bible and move into the real world and face your daily routines.  It is only when we as believers take God’s written Word and make it God’s living Word in our hearts that we can answer the “but” questions from those around us with an affirmative answer just as Christ did to Satan “But it is written”.

As I look upon my daily task and try to make a different in someone life, is it for my glory or is it just a task the Lord has assigned for that day? David realized there was nothing that could be compared to God. Just think of having your daily activities guided by God. Every person you meet God has placed you there for his purpose. Every task you work on God has a purpose for it. That your life will be a blessing to every one you meet and encounter on your journey today. If there is nothing compare to God, consider then the daily activities of a person surrender to do God’s will. A person as David describes as “I delight to do Thy will O my God, Thy Law is written in my heart.

 

Psalm 134

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Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord.  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.  The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion. (KJV)

This is the last psalm of the fifteen Song of Ascents psalms

This is the last of the Songs of Ascents psalms. Sometimes we read these words the short Psalms quickly and then we move on to the next chapter. However, as I reflect on this being the last of the Ascent Psalms I see myself in the future in the presence of God in heaven. It is a simple picture of all the servants of God standing at the end of the day in the house of the Lord. In His presence, we can now truly praise the Lord.   In Revelation 3:4 John writes “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” As a true believer in Christ this should be the desire of are heart. As we labor on this earth is it for the treasures of this earth are for the longer to be a servant upon the Lord?

Now ends the Songs of the Ascents. As we go about our journey on this earth I hope that these Psalms keeps our eyes upon Jesus the author and finisher of our salvation.

 

Psalm 133

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How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.  (NIV)

This is the 14th psalm of the fifteen Song of Ascents psalms

As I read verse one I reflect on Paul’s many verses from his introductions found in his many epistles. An example of this is found in I Thessalonians chapter one. In these verses he refers to them as an ensample to all that believe. How does brothers live in unity? This is not an easy task. Just consider the examples of brothers given to us in the scriptures. There is the example of the first set of brothers Cain and Abel. Other examples given in the scriptures: Jacob and Esua, Joseph and his brothers, as well as David and his brothers. As we look at these relationships they all have one thing in common. This common theme is jealousy. Why jealousy? Because jealousy is a result of wanting something that someone does not have but desires. But what happens when two brothers have no jealousy? David found this type of relationship in Jonathan the son of Saul and David’s brother-in- law. Read I Samuel chapter twenty to see the full example of this love.

As you read and study the psalms simple truths that we know exist just appear as common knowledge to the writers of these verses. Verse three “For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” should help the believer along in the everyday aspect of living their life on earth. As we age and our bodies limits the activities that we use to do our minds should look forwarded to the new body that the Lord is preparing for us. Just as a young girl dreams of becoming a beauty model, or a young boy dreams of growing into that mighty major league baseball player who hits the game winning homerun, we should in our old age dream of the body that we will receive then Christ returns. Do you live your daily life on this earth that reflects this simple truth “God has bestowed this blessing on your life and that this blessing is life forevermore? From this day forward let me reflect this truth to those around me that I have life forevermore and therefore I am content with the limitations placed on me by my earthly tabernacle at this time.

Psalm 132

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O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured. He swore an oath to the LORD and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:  “I will not enter my house or go to my bed I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” We heard it in Ephrathah, we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:  “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool arise, O LORD, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.  May your priests be clothed with righteousness; may your saints sing for joy.”  For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed one.  The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne if your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their sons will sit on your throne for ever and ever.”  For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling:  “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy.  “Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. I will clothe his enemies with shame, but the crown on his head will be resplendent.”  (NIV)

This is the 13th psalm of the fifteen Song of Ascents psalms

Verse 5 of this Psalm gives the focus point of what should be one of a believer’s greatest desires (till I find a place for the LORD).

Verse 11 is an interesting verse when studying the generations of Christ presented in Matthew chapter one and Luke chapter three. This verse states “The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne”. However in Jeremiah 22:30 the Lord placed a curse on Jechoniah that none of his seed would set on the throne of David ruling Judah. That is the difference in the generations in Matthew and Luke. Matthew traces the generations through David’s son Solomon whereas Luke traces the generations through Solomon’s brother Nathan.

This Psalm promises us a King who will reign from Zion. This King is Christ. I was questioned the other day about my faith in this King. When I told someone I was opposed to the government trying to take care of the problems we face in society because I had faith that God would provide for me, I was told that this type of faith was not real. He told me that he had seem others who believed that God would cure them and God did not and they had to fall by on the government to take care of them. Then I stated that I knew God will take care of me, and that the others he referred to must had have little or no faith, he looked at me and stated “Are you telling me that your faith is stronger than the faith of others?”. My reply was yes. For you see Christ refers to our faith with these words: o ye of little faith, ye have no faith, I have not found so great faith not in Israel, according to your faith be it unto you, thy faith have made thee whole, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, but I prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not. I told him to look and read the pages that I had wrote and put on the internet on my website, I do serve a risen Savior who is in the world today. This is the same Savior that this Psalm refers to as God’s anointed one. Remember the most important faith to question is that of your our faith. You do not have to get in a game of comparing faith, just make sure your faith is for real.


Psalm 131

Charleston

My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.  (NIV)

This is the 12th psalm of the fifteen Song of Ascents psalms

It is amazing how a short psalm like Psalm 131 can ease our mind. The beauty of God’s Word is how the truth found in each verse can touch the heart of those who are not proud, who have quieted themselves so that the Spirit of God can renew that individual relationship between them and God.

How often do we try to put ourselves or others on a pedestal only to see how easy it is to fall off that pedestal? How often do we seem to have all the answers and then realize that the path we have charted is taking us in the wrong direction? How often do we let our thought become express words without going though the filtering system that we have developed during our experiences on this earth? Yet the opening verse of this Psalm gives us the advise that we need to avoid all these issues. The definition of pride found in the dictionary is: a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. Synonyms for being proud include: pride, conceit, self-esteem, egotism, and vanity can imply an elevated idea of the way we appear to others. The advantages, achievements, as well as the position that we attain in this life, often lead us to develop characteristics that creates an environment in which self-admiration takes over in our life. I recall one of my favorite saying in the days of my youth as “when you are good you are good, but when you are great you are like me!”. However, age can sometimes have a way of adjusting our attitudes, and where pride exist a fall is close behind.

Sooner or later we arrive at the place in our life after the fall from pride, that we realize that there are matters that we can’t handle and things that are now greater than your abilities to comprehend and explain. It is during these time that we either return again to the folly of starting over and doing things my way again, or finally stop and wait on God to make things happen. We daily face the challenge of doing it my way or waiting on God. There is a lot of pride in doing things my way, however, there is no rest. As I study the ministry of Christ I realize that this psalm reflects the yoke that Christ refers to in Matthew chapter 11 verses twenty-five through thirty:

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Yes to the wise and learned the hidden things of God are hidden. It is only when we realized that our hope is not the power that we have but that this hope awaits those that wait on God. So if you are weary and burden with the issues of life then take Christ offer and take his yoke and learn from Him.