Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I Can Pray the Prayer of David

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! 
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit! 
Psalm 17:1

Good old David.  Lips free of deceit.  What a man of God!  He knew at this time in his life that he could pray this prayer and make that confession.

You have tried my heart,
you have visited me by night,
you have tested me,
and you will find nothing.  
Psalm 17:3

His heart was pure!  He could go to God in earnest and know that God would find no deceit in him.

I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress...
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped. 
Psalm 17:3b, 4-5

My, my, sometimes my purpose fails me.  It is a rare thing that I can say with David, as in verse 3, "You will find nothing."
Keep me as the apple of your eye; 
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
  Psalm 17:8

Oh, I can pray that, alright!  I never want to be out of God's sight.  It's a scary world away from Him.

Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
from men by your hand, O Lord, 
from men of the world whose protion is in this life. 
Psalm 17:13b, 14

I often pray this prayer, "Deliver me, O lord"!  But all too often I find myself (as David did, by the way) wandering from my Divine Protector by having lips full of deceit, by transgressing with my mouth, by slipping with my feet.

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; 
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. 
Psalm 17:15

Why could David pray this same type of prayer even after he had sinned with Bathsheba and  had her husband murdered?  He belonged to the God of Israel, with faith that someday the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would come to this earth and deliver all mankind.

Why can I pray the prayer of David?  Because I, too, have found forgiveness through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and declares me righteous in Him.  And what's more, He provides cleansing from sins as I daily confess them (hate them as God does and turn away).  1 John 1:9
For this I am eternally grateful, and it fills me with the desire to please Him in every way.

Praying that you, also, may pray the prayer of David,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Chosen Portion and My Cup

Preserve me O God, for in you I take refuge.
  I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you." ...
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; 
you hold my lot.
  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance...
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy; 
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:1-2,5-6,11

This is one of my favorite Psalms.  It encourages me to consider some very important and freeing truths, especially during those times when the trials of life are pressing in:

  • God is the One who preserves and protects me.  I can fully trust Him.
  • It is very comforting to acknowledge that I have a sure refuge, that I may go to Him at any time with my heart's concerns.
  • I have a Lord!  He is my Lord!  Because of that I am secure. 
  • I must recognize that apart from Him I have no good, and I am nothing.  But in Him I am richly blessed.
  • God is my ultimate good and supplies all my need (according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.)  Philippians 4:19
  • I have a beautiful and wonderful inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, reserved for me in heaven.  1 Peter 1:4
  •  The path for living this life on earth is laid out for me (through His Word).
  • I have no greater joy than when I am basking in His presence (through prayer, praise and worship.)
  • The pleasures of knowing Him are full and eternal.  And don't you know that once we are with Him in heaven, free from the clutching claws of sin, the eternal pleasures will be indescribably delightful?
What a way to start the day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Honestly, Now!

Okay, I needed a little humor to start the morning.  I got up late and have a really busy day ahead of me.  But this does relate to the Scripture passage--sort of!

I can honestly say that as I read this passage this morning, I could think of nothing to add.  Perhaps I should do this everyday, but today I am going to give you the entire passage and allow it to speak to you without comment..

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? 
Who shall dwell on your holy hill? 
He who walks blamelessly 
and does what is right 
and speaks truth in his heart; 
who does not slander with his tongue 
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 
in whose eyes a vile person is despised
but who honors those who fear the Lord
who swears to his own hurt 
and does not change; 
who does not put out his money at interest 
and does not take a bribe against the innocent. 
He who does these things shall never be moved.  
Psalm 15
Have a truthful day (and don't ask any questions that you might not want answered honestly!),

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some Things to Remember

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." 
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, 
there is none who does good. 
The Lord looks down from heaven 
on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
  They have all turned aside;
together they have become corrupt; 
there is none who does good, not even one. 
Psalm 14:1-3

If we ever begin to sit around and think, like the little boy who stuck his thumb in the Christmas pie, "What a good boy (or girl) am I, we have another thought coming.  While most of us would say that we believe that there is a God, we are not immune from God's judgment. 
All have sinned.  To sin means "to miss the mark," as when an archer misses the bull's eye on a board.  Coming close is just not good enough.  And in life, we never come anywhere close to the target righteousness, the perfection of God.

Some dismiss it with choosing to believe that there is no God.  The Bible calls them fools

Some choose to be ignorant, refusing to think about the truth of God. Romans 1:21

Some choose to worship idols, many of which now are money, position, family.  The Bible calls them fools, also. Romans 1:22-23

Some choose to lustfully dishonor their bodies, worship the creature rather than the Creator, and dismiss the truth and become liars. Romans 1:24-25

Romans 1 goes on to describe them as debased, unrighteous, evil, covetousness, malicious, envious, arrogant, faithless.........and more.  

I can say "them" only because I have been delivered through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The apostle Paul prefaced his writing about God's wrath with this statement: 

I am not ashamed of the gospel, 
because it is the power of God for the salvation 
of everyone who believes; 
first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 
For in the gospel 
a righteousness from God is revealed, 
a righteousness that is by faith 
from first to last,
just as it is written; 
"The righeous will live by faith."  
Romans 1:16-17

Only by unashamedly accepting the gospel of Christ as our own may we be cleansed from the impenitence of those who reject Him. Then we will be considered righteous.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who Can Be Believed, and Why?

Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone,
for the faithful have vanished
from among the children of man.
  Everyone utters lies to his neighbor,
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak...
The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times. 
Psalm 12:1-2, 6

My dear husband is a man of integrity, and he has a tendency to want to believe the best of people.  In his eyes, if a man says something, his word should be his word.  Needless to say, he has been disappointed countless times.  Unfortunately, true godliness, faithfulness and truthfulness have become mere words of the past in the hearts of many.  It is no different today than it was during the time of David.  "With flattering lips and a double heart they speak."  The only way that mankind can be preserved from this horrible condition is to cry out to the Savior,"Save, O Lord."  Only in Him is there hope for a double-hearted people.

So who can be believed, and why?  Praise God that the One whom we worship is the God of Truth.  His words are pure.   The psalmist described the verity of God using the refining process for silver. Not only are his words refined, but they have been refined 7 times, the number of perfection. We can perfectly believe our perfect God.

Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse:

"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver (Malachi 3:3)"

One lady proposed to visit a silversmith, and report to them on what he said about the subject. She went accordingly, and without telling the object of her errand, begged the silversmith to tell her about the
process of refining silver.

After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "But Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"

"Oh, yes madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eyes steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.

Before she left, the lady asked one final question, "When do you know the process is complete?"

"Why, that is quite simple," replied the silversmith. "When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."  (http://www.atimetolaugh.orgthesilversmith.html)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If the Foundations are Destroyed, Can the Righteous Stand?

If the foundations are destroyed, 
what can the righteous do?
Psalm 11:3

We live in an unbelievably beautiful, undeniably great and unusually free nation as citizens of the United States of America.  Our constitution has sufficed and has guaranteed us for well over 200 years now the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.  But the liberties that we have so enjoyed are being challenged from the Supreme Court of our land to the Presidency to our lawmakers and judges who think that they have the answers for the "new millennium."  The foundations are being destroyed; we are living in a different good ole' USA than any of us have ever known, and it does not seem to promise to improve for our children.

I read an article in our local newspaper that 45 percent of the public schools in our state failed to meet minimum standards of education. ( ) I have been trying to help a college student learn to write properly--a college student who was in AP English classes.  He cannot write a paper without help!  Is it because he is not smart?  No!  He is an engineering major.  His education just fell very short.  The foundations are being destroyed.

Men and women who merely stand on the street and talk of the Lord Jesus Christ to passersby or pass out gospel tracts have been arrested--for using one of the freedoms that this nation was founded on.  Since when do those who are intolerant to what they deem intolerant have the privilege of calling themselves tolerant?  The foundations are being destroyed, and these are just two of the many ways in which they are.

This could be a very discouraging passage of Scripture if David had no answer to the question.  
Why could he say,

"In the Lord I take refuge."? (verse 1a)  

Because he knew that

The Lord is in His holy temple; 
the Lord's throne is in heaven.
His eyes see,
His eyelids test,
the children of man.
  The Lord tests the righteous,
but His soul hates the wicked
and the one who loves violence.
(verses 4-5)

Therefore we can say with David, 

"For the Lord is righteous; 
He loves righteous deeds; 
the upright shall behold His face.
(verse 7)

As we trust in Him and seek His face,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Why, O Lord, do you stand afar off? 
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?...
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him;
all his thoughts are, "There is no God."..
The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.
  He says in his heart, "God has forgotten;
He has hidden His face; He will never see it."...
But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself; 
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
  Psalm 10:1,4,10-11,14

You may notice in the Psalms that the psalmist goes from confident expectation of God's nearness to questioning wonder about His distance.  In this Psalm he begins with a question, one that we ask many times:  "Why?"

Why do the enemies of God live licentiously, whether they be the filthy rich who blaspheme the name of God , hoarding their assets or spending frivolously on extravagant toys; or the elite group of intellectuals who deem belief in a Divine Creator beneath them?  And what of those who try to expunge even the memory of those who call themselves by the name of Christ?  Oh, yes, this is not an uncommon thing in our modern world.  If you are not familiar with the organization, Voice of the Martyrs, go to  and receive a free newsletter that will keep you informed about the persecution of Christians throughout the world.  It is not a fun read, but it will help you to know how to pray for those who are standing strong for the cause of Christ in a hostile world.

If we look at injustice and think with the enemies of God that perhaps God really doesn't exist, or that He has forgotten the plight of the helpless, we are falling into their trap.  God does hear; He has not forgotten, and He will deal with them in His time.

Many times I have read the testimonies of those who are being persecuted for bearing the name of Christ, and their testimony is, "I count it a privilege to suffer for the sake of my Lord Jesus Christ."  Our American freedom mentality has caused us to fear persecution and to consider its evils rather than to rejoice in suffering.  God does hear the cries of those who are being abused and will avenge the enemies of the cross and of his own.

Serving the God who hears,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Not Forsaken

 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High...
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name
put their trust in you, for you,
O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you...
Psalm 9:1-2, 9-10

The confidence which David had in the Lord at this time allowed him to say without reservation, "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

God  promises that He will not forsake those who put their trust in Him.  Do you ever feel forsaken?  Put your trust in the Lord.  I have found that one of the best ways for me to renew my trust in God's continual presence is to  praise Him for who He is and to begin to recount the ways in which He has acted on my behalf. Remembering the One who gives us life and preserves us is a great boost of confidence that He will continue to do so.  We can say with the apostle Paul, "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."  (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)  We may rely on His promise, found in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Let's begin our day recounting God's wondrous deeds,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Divine Majesty

"Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic 
is your name in all the earth!...
when I look at your heavens, 
the work of you fingers,
the moon and the stars, 
which you have set in place, 
what is man that you are mindful of him, 
and the son of man that you care for him? 
Yet you have made him a little lower 
than the heavenly beings 
and crowned him with glory and honor...
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic
is your name in all the earth!  
Psalm 8:1a, 3-5, 9

This Psalm begins and ends with a prayer of worship.  Our Lord is the Divine Majesty of all the earth!  What prompted the psalmist to bow in worship before the Lord, declaring His majesty?  Be sure to read the remainder of this Psalm.  

David's thoughts turned towards humanity and our unworthiness to receive what God deemed fit to give us: His thoughts, His care, our position in the grand scheme of things (only a little lower than the heavenly beings), glory and honor, dominion over the earth.  All of these are ours, given to us by the Divine Majesty.

What else can we do but fall prostrate in worship before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, knowing our sinfulness and yet possessing such honors? 

I am reminded of a wonderful old song.  The chorus goes like this:

Holy, Holy is what the angels sing,
And I expect to help them make 
the courts of heaven ring!
But when I sing redemption's story,
They will fold their wings;
For heaven never felt the joy
That my salvation brings.

(Okay, I know angels don't have wings!) 

Singing redemption's story in praise and worship,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Can You Pray This With Confidence?

 O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
rending it in pieces, with none to deliver. 
O Lord my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my friend with evil
or plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it; 
and let him trample my life to the ground
and lay my glory in the dust.
Psalm 7:1-5

Are you able to pray this prayer of David, confident that you are free of the guilt of wronging another, friend or enemy?  Do you have an "I'll get you back" mentality?  Or do you, as David, take refuge in the Lord of Hosts, allowing Him to deliver you and deal with them?

As we are free from the guilt of wronging others, and as we hand them over to the Lord, we can be assured that they are in the hands of the only One who is completely capable of avenging them, and we can say with David,

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, 
and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
Psalm 7:17

Meditating on this,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just You Wait!

"The King David praying for Solomon" by Shirley Swanson

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, 
nor discipline me in your wrath.
  Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.  
My soul also is greatly troubled. 
But you, O Lord--how long? 
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love...
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my couch with my weeping.
  My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes...
The Lord has heard my plea; 
the Lord accepts my prayer.  
Psalm 6:1-4a, 6-7, 9

David was a man of prayer, as indicated by the 150 Psalms that were recorded as God's Word to mankind.  Some were Psalms of praise, but many were cries to the Lord for help.  David did not live an easy life, even though he was a man after God's own heart.  And neither are we to think that we should live a life of ease.  If you have lived any length of time, you know that there are many trials in this life on earth.  

This was obviously one of those times of trial for David.  His enemies encroached on every side.  His groanings to the Lord were many, and he even cried out to Him, "How long?"  It seemed they would never end at this point.  He was tired; he cried so much that his eyes felt like they were "wasting away" because of his grief.

But in verse 9 David has a burst of confidence in the Lord.  It seems that he was able to say in his heart of hearts, "Just you wait, enemies of myself and God!"  Why?  Because he knew that God--his God--had heard his cries to heaven.
Don't give up, Pilgrim.  Cry out with a pure heart to the Father who hears.  Keep crying out.  Just you wait!  Along with David, we can say, "The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer."  Someone once wisely said, "God is seldom early, but He is never late!"  Our hope is in the Lord.

Waiting on Him,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not a Morning Person?

Give ear to my words, O Lord; 
consider my groaning.
 Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God, 
for to you do I pray. 
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; 
in the morning I direct my prayer to you and watch...
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; 
let them ever sing for joy, 
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you. 
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.  
Psalm 5: 1-3, 11-12

Not a morning person, you say?  My first inclination is to tell you to get up and spend  time in prayer anyway, but I know too many who are not morning people to do that.  My oldest daughter, who is now 40 years old and a morning person (4 kids 15, 12, 10, and 7) was definitely NOT one as she was growing up.  One morning when she was in college I walked into her room and said, "Good Morning!", to which she promptly said, "Why is it that every morning you have to say, 'Good Morning!"  I asked her what she would rather I say, and she said, "Well, I'd rather you didn't say anything, but if you have to say something, just say, 'Morning!'  So from then on I would go into her room and say, "Morning!" in a very cheerful voice.  She didn't appreciate that, either!

All that to say, it is so important that we spend time with our Father--that we either learn to get up in the morning and have our daily time with Him, or we carve out another time in the day.  Why?  I believe that Psalm 5 gives us some hints.
  • We have groanings which no one can hear or reply to but God.  Our cries must go up to Him if we are to receive an answer. (verse 1)
  • We can look to Him with expectation.  No one else is able to give us the desires of our heart. (verse 3)
  • The Lord hates the evil of the deceitful and wicked, and without Him as our refuge, we would be in the same place. We must stay in close fellowship with Him. (verse 4-6)
  • It is He who makes our way straight, who shows us the way to His house. (verse7)
  • Taking refuge in Him gives us cause to rejoice, to sing for joy, to exult in Him. (verse 11)
  • He is our protection from our enemies.  It is to Him that we must go. (verse 11)
  • As we are righteous before Him (and the only way to live righteously is to be bathed in His Word and in close communion with Him) we are covered with His favor.  He is our Shield. (verse 12)
Not a morning person?  Go to bed earlier.  Or carve out a time when just you and the Lord are in close communion.  Don't wait until your enemies are on your heels and you feel desperate.  We are always desperate and in great need of our Father's time.  And you know what?  He is need of our fellowship, as well.

Yawning by noon,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For Him

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!  
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
  Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!...
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself;
the Lord hears when I call to Him...
There are many who say, "Who will show us some good?
  Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!" 
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
  In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
  Psalm 4: 1,3,6-8

In light of the enemies that surrounded him, David cried to the Lord.  Why could he ask so confidently for God to help him?  He knew that in the past, God had answered his prayers.  And the reason that he knew he would hear from Him was that He had been set apart, sanctified.

Have you ever really considered that if you belong to God through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been set apart for God?  The book of Colossians tells us that we were created by Him and for Him.  Have you ever wondered why in the world He made man when He had the angels in heaven to fellowship with, when He is completely sufficient in Himself?  Me, too.  But the Scripture says that we were made for Him, for His pleasure, for His glory.

Though many may ask God for good in order to indulge themselves, and though many live in self-indulgence, we may say with David, "You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.   In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

There is no greater joy than the joy of knowing and being known by the Savior of mankind.  May we live for Him, for His pleasure, for His glory!

Feeling very blessed,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Who Are Your Enemies?

O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;

  many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God.
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord, 
and He answered me from His holy hill.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke again, for the Lord sustained me...
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Psalm 3:1-5, 8a

Psalm 3 Is one of those passages that many of us might tend to skim over, thinking that only people like King David could relate, but don't give it just a cursory reading and forget it.  There is application for all of us, because we all have enemies.

No enemies, you say?   Really?  What about those people who hate our Savior, and hate us because we love Him?    What about those who want to change our nation into a nation that murders infants and old people and those who are handicapped, saying that they don't benefit society?  I must say that they are my enemies, because I love babies; one of my dearest friends is handicapped; and I'm getting older and older.  Did you know that over 50,000,000  (that's 50 million!) abortions have been performed legally in the United States since 1973? ( refer here )  More and more, we are becoming a nation of people who do not follow the founding fathers in the quest to honor the 10 Commandments, much of what our nation was founded on.

And what about those little enemies of thought that provoke me day and night?  There are those that whisper to me that maybe I'm wrong about what I believe, that all of my devotion is to no avail.  And those that say that I must enjoy the pleasures of sin.  Oh, and those that tell me that it's okay for me to be unkind to those that are unkind to me.  And the ones that say it's okay to eat or drink what gives me satisfaction, no matter that it may be unhealthy for the temple of God, my body, which is not my own since I have been bought with a price--the shed blood of the Lord Jesus.

Praise God, He is my Shield, my Glory, and the Lifter of my head!  Salvation belongs to Him!  I am kept by His great mercy and His protection.  I can lie down and sleep, knowing that my Savior has me encompassed in His mighty hand, sheltered under His wings.  As my enemies swarm, I can know with confidence that the battle is the Lord's and He is the ultimate Victor.  

Trusting in His protective power,

Monday, November 7, 2011

When God Laughs

Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,

“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
Why do we set ourselves against the Lord?  Why do we want to cast away the cords of love and protection and discipline from us?  And why do we think that we are able to do so?  And what makes God laugh?  I encourage you to finish the reading of Psalm 2. (click here)

Two passages came to mind as I read this passage.  How beautifully God's Word helps us to understand God's Word!  It's all we need!
"God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, 
that he should change his mind. Has he said, 
and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, 
and will he not fulfill it?
Numbers 23:19
God is able to laugh in derision at those who want to break the cords around them, because He is God.  What He says goes.  He will fulfill His vows.

The Psalm also tells us that He has placed His Annointed over the ends of the earth.  Some laugh now, saying that He does not rule the earth, that God's Word has failed to come to fruition.  But Jesus, as He was being seized by the mob, said to them:
 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, 
and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 
But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? 
Matthew 26:53-54

Indeed, God will have the last laugh.  


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Treehouse--a Story

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
  The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 1
Maggie was a very smart little girl with a personality that could win the hearts of everyone around her.  She lived each day to the fullest, from the time she awoke in the morning until her parents put her to bed at night.  And she was busy--very, very busy.  
Her only problem was that she just did not know who to listen to!  Her mom and dad insisted that she obey them, but a little voice inside her told her that what mom and dad said to do wasn't nearly as fun as what the little voice told her to do.  Mom and Dad said, "Maggie, do not scream at your sisters."  Well!  It seemed to her that if her sisters and brother did not do what she wanted, they deserved her scream, which she took great pride in.  It was LOUD!  They also insisted that she not bite, but something about putting her mouth around an arm or finger felt so--so POWERFUL!  And what was wrong with a little hit now and then?  As far as Maggie was concerned they deserved it.  That little voice could surely get her into trouble, but she was oh, so tempted to do what it said.

One day Maggie looked outside her window.  Dad was working hard building a tree house.  Now, she had always wanted a tree house to climb into, to play in--one with a swing and a bucket tied to a rope, to be used to haul things up in.  What fun she was going to have!  She could imagine herself as the tree house queen, with everyone as her servants.

But there was only one rule:  She must treat her sisters  and her brother with kindness, or she would not be allowed to enter the tree house.  For every scream she would have to sit in the pile of rubbish that was near the old broken-down shed as she watched the others play .  The same applied to biting and hitting.  What a dilemma!  Could Maggie not listen any longer to the little voice in her head that said that being unkind was fun?  If she did, she would never get to enjoy the tree house.  She must make a decision.  What would it be?  She could either continue to do what she seemed to enjoy doing, or she could listen to the admonition of her parents.

The consequences of disobedience suddenly became very real to her.  Every time she looked or walked outside she would think about what her parents told her; and thankfully, Maggie decided to listen to her parents and to do what was right.  And do you know what?  She found that following the voice in her head was not nearly as rewarding as obeying the rules of her parents. And how she enjoyed that tree house!

Oh, that we would make the right decisions so easily!

Friday, November 4, 2011

God Is Not Our 911 Call!

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.
Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church,
and let them pray over him,
anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 
 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick,
and the Lord will raise him up.
And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,
that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours,
and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, 
and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
James 5:13-16

A man just like us!  After Elijah saw God do such miracles, He got cold feet and fled from Jezebel!  If prayer worked for him, then it works for us.  Break these verses apart today, and find someone to pray for in each of the categories listed.  Don't forget; the prayer of a righteous person has great power. Let's don't use God as our 911 call!

Got to go pray,