Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The little songs that we learn in our youth may be simple but the truths they contain are powerful. The choirs “This little light that shines, I going to let it shine” is an example of this. And why do we let it shine? Is it so that men can glorify men because of all the good I am doing, or is to the glorification of God for the work that he has performed in me. Of course it is the latter and yet why do we deep down want the glory to be directed on us?
The answer is another simple truth and that is the sin nature is still alive and is in a battle against the spirit nature. Do we hide God in our life or do we put Him on display as in the example of the candlestick so that all around us we are believers. Do we include the simple truths of the scriptures in our everyday conversations? Does our conversation take us from the Word of God or bring us back to His word? This is why we need to stay in God’s Word and hid it in our heart. Live a life so that then others see light they will glorify your Father in heaven for the change he has made in your life. One last thing about this song; do not let Satan or the world blow it out!
I John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
As I look at these words written nearly two thousand years ago I wonder how many people have read, hear, and reflect upon these verses and applied it to their life. The world as we know it was made by God. However, do I really believe this and reflect this belief in my daily live? If I do then I have an advantage over the person who does not believe. The advantage that I have is a starting point for all my beliefs: God!
Since all things were made by him getting to know him will open the flood gates of knowledge before me. The more I learn of him the more I see the sinfulness of mankind and the need to proclaim his message of grace. The more I learn of him, the more I see how wonderful this world was made. The more I know him the more I understand Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he made and behold it was good”. And as the disciples had Christ to lead them into all truth, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us daily from the words of the scriptures. So stay in his word and let the Holy Spirit guide you in all truth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Blessed are the merciful
Blessed are the pure in heart
Blessed are the peace makers
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you falsely saying all kinds of evil against you
Because of Me
As I read and study these verses I realized Christ is addressing these words to those who know the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus states I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me. As I go through this list of the blessed ones I see a pattern of growth:
Poor in spirit – see our sinful condition as it is hopeless.
Mourn – how can I live in this sinful state?
Meek – humble our self before God.
Who hunger and thirst for righteousness – seek after a way to be rid of our sinfulness.
Merciful – recognize that others are like us and need to be shown the truth.
Pure in heart- realized that forgiveness is looking to Christ.
Peace makers – sharing this truth with others.
Persecuted because of righteousness – refusing to conform to the world’s ways but stay truth to the truth.
People insult you and persecute you falsely saying all kinds of evil against you – taking a firm stand against the ways of the world and proclaiming the truth for Christ sake and not your sake.
As I look at these verses I realized that I must see myself as a sinner needing God’s forgiveness and transformation. This forgiveness and transformation only comes through the perfect sacrifice that was made on the cross by Christ. I may not understand the reasoning behind this gift from God; but the peace and the transformation in my life after I believe is undeniable. Verse twelve reveals the wonder of having the Son in your life “rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven”. The mission of Christ was to seek and to save that which was lost. I now must proclaim His message to the world by the way I live.
1 Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. 2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. 3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, 4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, 5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
As you read this psalm, I hope you will stop and realized that everything in your world is not “All about Me”. However, as you look at this psalm you will see that we are to praise the Lord. As you look at these verses you will get the picture of a modern church service:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved: in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him unto a dispensation of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth; in him, I say, in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worked all things after the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,– in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession, unto the praise of his glory.
As I finish another reading of the Psalms and Proverbs today, I realize that this month is almost over another month is almost upon me. This month I seasoned my daily readings with the daily devotional by Charles Swindoll title Wisdom for the Way. I found this devotional at the Goodwill store where I buy some of my books. On the inside cover I discovered these words “For Lindsey From the Craig’s May 2001”. The subtitle of this devotional is Wise Words for Busy People. How this book came from the Craig’s to Lindsey and then to me is a mystery, but as I look to the surpassing greatness of God, I realize how God can use a book to influence a person.
On page 62 of this devotional Charles Swindoll starts off the reading by writing “The only way we can come to terms with reality-is by trusting God, regardless.” As I continue to read this devotional, I noticed there were only two paragraphs. The first paragraph centered the words I and me. It is a matter of if I am trusting him, or if I do or don’t allow God in my world as I face each and every issue in my daily routine. The second paragraph centers on the word we. We can’t wait for conditions to be perfect, instead we must go on trusting. This gift of the Craig’s to give Lindsey a treasure to help her along the way is an example of their trusting God to work in her life. Sometimes it might appear that we have fail, however because of the surpassing greatness of God their gift might produce fruit elsewhere. As this simple devotional starts with an individual, the end result because of the surpassing greatness of God will be a group result.
Verse six “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” forces the reader to one conclusion and that is we are to praise the Lord. The journey that begins with the first breathe that a child takes at birth to the last breath we take before we pass from this life to eternity must include the process of praising the Lord.
1 Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in theirMaker; let the people of Zion be glad in theirKing. 3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. 4 For the LORD takes delight in hispeople; he crowns the humble with salvation. 5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. 6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, 7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, 9 to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all hissaints. Praise the LORD.
As we study God’s Word some concepts are hard for us to understand. As I study the attributes of God and focus on His goodness and kindness as well as His great mercies that He has impart not only on my behalf but on to all who call on his name, it sometimes becomes difficult for me to picture God as One who will inflict vengeance and carry out the punishment of the sentence that is written against the those that have not called upon his name. Thankfully for me the message I must give to the world is not this message of the future judgment of God against the wicked of this world, but a new song a message of a way of salvation to all who will believe. As I study these verses, I must realize that there will be a time of judgment ahead, but until then there is hope for anyone that still wants to come to Him. In Jude’s book (the second to the last bible of the Bible) in verses twenty-one through twenty-four we are told to keep ourselves in the love of God and have mercy on those who doubt. So, when I am confronted by others to explain how a loving God could be such a God of vengeance, I will explain to them that I am only beginning to understand the workings of God and that some concept about God is still beyond my understanding. I can compare my understanding of the complete nature of God to that of a 3rd grader’s understanding of calculus. Some things are just beyond my understanding. However, by reading Psalm ten I get a picture of how wicked the evil man truly can be.
This psalm ends with a plea for God to arise and take action against the wicked and evil man and call him into account for what he has done. Then this happens to the evil it will become the glory of all his saints. This day will come when the Lord returns. Why the delay? Peter answers this in II Peter chapter three “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. How then should we live “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for these things, give diligence that ye may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in his sight. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you”.
But why don’t the wicked see their coming judgment? The answer can be found in Psalm fourteen, Psalm fifty-three, and Romans chapter three.
1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. 2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. 3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. 4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. 6He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. 7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, 8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, 9you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10 wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, 11kings of the earth and all nations, youprinces and all rulers on earth, 12young men and maidens, old men and children. 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. 14He has raised up for hispeople a horn, the praise of all hissaints, of Israel, the people close to his heart.
1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to ourGod, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. 5 Great is ourLord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. 6 The LORD sustains the humble: but casts the wicked to the ground. 7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. 8He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. 9He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. 10His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; 11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. 12 Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise yourGod, O Zion, 13 for he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. 14He grants peace toyour borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. 15 He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. 17He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? 18He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. 19He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. 20He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD.
This is a Psalm to the love of God for the nation of Israel. As we love at the love of God to Israel we can see the type of love that a parent should
1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. 2I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to myGod as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed is hewhose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORDhisGod, 6 the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them the LORD, who remains faithful forever. 7He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD preserves the sojourners and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 10 The LORD will reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD.
If you are like me and read five Psalms and a chapter of Proverbs a day then you are on the last or second to the last day of the month today. These last five psalms are what I call the Praise Psalms. The reading of Psalm 146 reveals to the readers Christ a picture of the promise King. In Christ the reader would have found hope and help from the burdens that encompassed their lives. He would uphold the cause of the oppressed and give food to the hungry. He would open the eyes of the blind and restore health to the broken bodies. He would meet the needs of the fatherless and widows but would frustrate the ways of the wicked. However, when he came to earth two thousand years ago, he became the rejected one that was pictured in Isaiah chapter fifty-three.
Who hath believed our report?
And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised,
and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed,
and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death;
because he had done no violence,
neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him;
he hath put him to grief:
when thou shall make his soul an offering for sin,
he shall see his seed,
he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
As the readers after the time of Christ look back on the Savior and his work, we have a detail history of his walk found in the Gospels. We are also given the promise of his return. However, with this return we also will see the doing away with the ways of the wicked. With this hope in mind how can we not praise the Lord.
This promise of the Lord’s return is very important for Christians as they make a stand for Christ in the world today. As I read the Lord’s words concerning his kingdom found in Matthew chapter twenty-five, I ask myself these questions: am I a wise or foolish virgin, a profitable or unprofitable servant, a sheep or a goat. The answer depends upon which phrase would I want to hear. “Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels” or “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”. Peter informs us that if we have the correct view of the Second Coming of the Lord it will help us from being carried away by the error of the wicked. Knowing this are you looking for that coming day?
1I will exalt you, myGod the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2 Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4Onegeneration will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. 5They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 6They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. 8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All you have made will praise you, O LORD; yoursaints will extol you. 11They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. 14 The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wickedhe will destroy. 21My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
1 Praise be to the LORDmy Rock, who trains my hands for war my fingers for battle. 2He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whomI take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. 3 O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? 4Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. 5 Part your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. 6 Send forth lightning and scatter the enemies;shoot your arrows and rout them. 7 Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners 8whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. 9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, 10 to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword. 11 Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. 12 Then oursons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and ourdaughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. 13Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; 14our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets. 15 Blessed are the peopleof whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD.