Monday, April 23, 2012

We Failed To Ask

"Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time,
 the anger of the Lord our God burst out against us.
 We failed to ask God how to move it properly.”
1 Chronicles 15:13-14

Oh, the lessons to be learned from the life of David, King of Israel! The ark of the Lord had previously been moved from the land of the Philistines and from one place to another.  In the second moving of the ark, one of the men touched it as it began to tip and died instantly.  David's response was anger toward the Lord.  His heart was right in wanting to move it; his desire was to move it to Jerusalem, where it rightfully should have been.  So in David's mind, why would God do such a thing?  Chapter 13 tells us: 

David was now afraid of God, and he asked, 
“How can I ever bring the Ark of God back into my care?”
 So David did not move the Ark into the City of David. 
Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath.
 The Ark of God remained there in Obed-edom’s house
 for three months, and the Lord blessed the 
household of Obed-edom and everything he owned.
But David, being a man after God's own heart, did what any man of God should do:  He sought the Lord.  By seeking God through His Word, he found the answer to his query, "How can I ever bring the Ark of God back into my care?"  God's answer?  Do it right!
How many times have I gone out on my own to do something that I thought was surely God's will--without seeking His answer through His Word first--and fallen flat on my face?  I believe that we can find most answers to life's queries through the Word that He has given us.  Our response to Him should be, "Yes, Lord.  I'll do it your way."  Unfortunately, our mortal minds can make anything seem like the will of God for us, or make us think that God has spoken to us in a certain way.  Was it God's will for David to move the ark?  Yes.  Was it God's will for it to be moved in the method by which it was moved? No!  
He failed to ask God.
Let's not fail to ask,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In Him I Am Strong

     But David strengthened himself 
in the LORD his God.
 Samuel 30:6b 

David had fled from King Saul and his armies and was living in Ziklag, in the land of the Philistines.  He and his men had gone out to battle Judah with the Philistine army and were turned away.  The men feared that David would turn on them and fight for Israel.  When they arrived home, the men of David's army found that Ziklag had been burned, and all its inhabitants, including their wives and children, had been taken captive.  After much mourning, some of the men became angry with David and decided to stone him.  It was at this point that David "strengthened himself in the Lord his God."

How often do we encounter seemingly impossible odds and immediately go to the Lord for strength?  Oh, the value of seeing in God's Word the exhortation to follow in the footsteps of David!  Neither worry nor taking things into our own hands will alleviate our angst or fear in any given situation.  But our strength may be found in the Lord!

Is there anything in your life that seems overwhelming today?  I encourage you to "strengthen yourself in the Lord."  Go to His Word for comfort.  Spend time talking to Him--and listening to the still, small voice that speaks through the Holy Scriptures.  Go to GODLY counsel. Don't try to be a hero, or a martyr.  Allow God to be your strength.  

Always in need of His strength,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

All Hail the King

    Our King wore a crown of thorns

 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together 
and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him,
 “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. 
Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
    But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, 
“Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
 And the LORD said to Samuel, 
“Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you,
 for they have not rejected you, 
but they have rejected me from being king over them.
1 Samuel 8:4-7
Jehovah was King of Kings to Israel from the time of  conception, guiding the people through many trials, providing manna in the wilderness, helping them to conquer the lands before them.  But now they want a king "like all the nations."  What???  They want to be like the other nations, the heathen nations whose gods are stone and whose hearts are even harder?  Yes, "Give us a king to judge us."  The God of all the earth was not good enough?  Those foolish Hebrews!  They would see what having a king instead of the King would do for them!

Every time I begin to turn my nose up at someone else, it seems that God points directly at me and offers this advice, "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us [me], so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we [I] might have hope." (Romans 15:4)  The lesson for me?  The only King in my life must be the Lord Jesus Christ.  My dependence must be on Him and Him alone.  Prosperity is not King.  It is fleeting--even a little of it.  Fame is not King--although I haven't experienced it.  Having the respect of others is not King--I will likely do or say something at some time to cause others to lost respect.  Jesus is King.  I cannot depend on the present or the next President of the United States to help our nation out of its mess.  Only King Jesus can do that. 

My only hope, my only assurance that I am in His will,and that I am under His hand of protection, is to allow Him to rule and reign in my heart.

All hail King Jesus!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Who Is Able to Stand?

Then the men of Beth-shemesh said, 
“Who is able to stand before the LORD, 
this holy God? 
1 Samuel 6:20a 

During the time of the judges, the Philistines captured the Ark of God and took it to the city of Ashdod, placing it in their temple alongside Dagon, their god.  Dagon would fall over seemingly unaided, and the people began to become sick with tumors.  They could think of nothing besides getting this Ark of God out of their territory.  They took it to several cities, all of whose residents were cursed with tumors or died.  After seven months they decided to send it back to Israel.  At the border of Beth-Shemesh they left the Ark.  The Scripture account says,    "And he [God] struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the LORD. He struck seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great blow." (1 Samuel 6:19)  It was at this point that the question was asked, "Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God?"

That is a question that all of us must ask.  And the answer is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Only through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf are we able to stand justified before God.  Only by receiving His finished work on the cross are we able to say,

 "I stand amazed in the presence
 of Jesus the Nazarene,
 and wonder how He could love me,
 a sinner, condemned, unclean."

Interestingly, we will all stand before this Holy God at the day of Judgment.  Some will recoil at His judgment, and others will rejoice.  I pray that each who reads this will be rejoicing in the presence of the Lord on Judgment Day.

Oh, how marvelous, Oh, how wonderful!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Perfect Love, Wondrous Love

     But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
    Luke 24:1-12

Perfect Love, Wondrous Love 
Gloria Godbee 
My precious Jesus knew no sin;
Yet so that I could enter in,
He bore my sins upon the tree,
Becoming sin for me.
What a display of matchless grace!
He gazed into this sinner’s face
And chose to take my sin and shame
So I could share His name. 
He in very nature God—But then
He took the form of mortal man.
What agony He suffered sore
And on the cross my sorrows bore.
O humble servant of mankind,
Upon that rugged cross I find
Rare beauty millions fail to see,
For you suffered there for me.
  O Perfect Love, O Wondrous Love,
Upon my knees I fall.
I cry Holy, Holy, Holy;
You are Lord of all! 

Have a blessed and joyful Resurrection Day as you celebrate the most significant event in history,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Judas?

    He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 
The Son of Man goes as it is written of him,
 but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! 
It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 
Judas, who would betray him, answered,
 “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
Matthew 26:23-25

Last night our pastor spoke about Matthew 27, where Judas Iscariot, who had been given 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus, realized too late his wicked scheme's consequences, and took his own life, doomed to an eternity separated from the One this zealot mistakenly thought would be the new earthly king.  The Scriptures say nothing good about him, and yet somehow he had all of the disciples fooled into thinking that he was a good man.  No one suspected him of his thievery and deception.  He was "one of them."  He was considered one of the 12 elite whom Jesus loved and trusted.  Only the Lord Jesus knew who he really was.

The pastor said something that really stirred my heart.  He said to look within, not to look at others and think how they might be like Judas.  As I walked this morning, I meditated on this.  Might I be a Judas?  Would I be willing to sell Him out if my life or my freedom were at stake?  What about if the lives of my children or grandchildren?  Oh, how I love them!  I would be willing to die for them if necessary.  Would I sell Him out?

Two thousand years ago my Lord suffered the most tragic of deaths, completely innocent of any crime.  He did that for me.  For me, who can't even know in my own heart what I would do if confronted with the proposition that if I deny Him, then my grandchildren could live in freedom.  Freedom?  There is no freedom apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that if ever I have to choose whether or not to remain faithful to my Lord, I WILL BE FAITHFUL!  Somehow, I believe that that decision must be made long before the situation arises.  I DO NOT WANT TO BE A JUDAS!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Foolish Vow

 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
        And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the LORD, and I cannot take back my vow.”
Judges 11:30-31,35

I once went to a week long seminar, and towards the close of the seminar, the speaker asked if we would lift our hands if we'd make a vow to the Lord to spend at least five minutes every day reading the Bible.  Many people lifted their hands, but I did not.  I had a great fear of breaking my vow to the Lord.  Now, five minutes a day is more than doable, but what if I forgot?  What if I was in the hospital and couldn't read?  What if I were to merely get busy and fail to do it?  Somehow I could not make that vow! 

This morning my readings were in the book of Judges, and Jephthah was one of the judges I read about.  Jephthah's vow seemed a very foolish one to me, even though he was a vigilant judge and soldier and desirous of defeating God's enemy.  What did he expect to come out of the house?  His dog?  I do not believe that a vow to read the Bible 5 minutes a day is a foolish vow at all.  I try to spend more than 5 minutes everyday reading God's Word, but had I made the vow and not kept it, I would have been responsible to God for breaking a solemn vow to Him.   

I made a vow to my husband on our wedding day, a holy vow to the Lord.  I have kept it for almost 44 years now and intend to keep it for the rest of my life.  I think there a worthy things to vow to God, and reading the Bible everyday is one of those very worthy ones. But it is most important that when one makes a vow, he is faithful to fulfill it.  God has strict standards for keeping a vow to Him. 

This is not to frighten you  from making a vow to the Lord.  It is really an encouragement to keep your vows when you make them, and not to make a foolish vow.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


    “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
        who was and is and is to come!”
    And whenever the living creatures
 give glory and honor and thanks
 to him who is seated on the throne,
 who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders
 fall down before him who is seated on the throne 
and worship him who lives forever and ever.
 They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
    “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
        to receive glory and honor and power,
    for you created all things,
        and by your will they existed 
and were created.”
Revelation 4:8-11

I prefer to walk alone, because it is such an excellent time to cast my concerns before the Lord.  If someone was watching me they would likely think I was a crazy woman (not too far from right), because I love to pray aloud.  It's okay; I usually go pretty early in the morning.  Anyway, there is much to pray about right now, some trials which seem overwhelming in many ways.  But this morning as I began to walk, I decided that instead of taking all my concerns to the Lord--again--when He already knows my requests even before I ask or think of them myself, I would take this time to  praise and worship Him.

What a glorious morning I had!  Thirty minutes of praising my Lord, of worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness.  Unlovely me, because of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on my behalf, able to praise Him as I walked and talked to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, my Friend,  my closest and dearest Friend, my Beloved.

I encourage you to take a morning to speak aloud everything that you can think of concerning our precious Savior and Lord.  Praise Him for His character, His wonderful acts in your life and that of your loved ones, for His truth, His sovereign design, His care and protection, His presence, His knowledge, His all-seeing eye, and everything else you can think of.  There is no way that His joy will not fill your soul!

Try it!  Go ahead!  It will make your day!

In His great joy and love,