Tag Archives: Psalms
It is amazing how someone can look around them and say there is no God. I wake in the morning, and it is immediately evident that there is a God. Our bodies are too well designed to be a cosmic accident, or descendants from a single cell. When I get hungry, my body lets me know. If I eat, my body takes the food extracts what is necessary and removes what is not. My body knows when it needs rest.
Even more amazing is when I go outside and think about photosynthesis. I breathe oxygen in then it is turned into a waste product called carbon dioxide which plants take in and turn into oxygen. How can you say that it just evolved that way?
There is no part of life that you can look at and say wow, isn’t that amazing how everything just coincidentally worked out where the different seasons, creatures, and everything else work together.
The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2 ESV)
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:19-23 ESV)
God created the world. It was a well thought out plan, so that even if there was no one to show us God His creation would reveal Him. Indeed only a fool could say there is no God.
Read Genesis 1 today and then reflect on how God created everything to reveal and proclaim His glory.
David’s life was filled with mistake after mistake. Yet God felt David’s heart was right. (1 Samuel 13:14, 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Kings 11:4,1 Kings 14:8, 1 Kings 15:3, Acts 13:22) When David sinned he would cry out to God forgive me, make me pure, wash me (Psalms 51:1-19). David prayed to God when his enemies attacked (Psalm 3:1-8, Psalm 109:1-31) and David knew where his strength came from (Psalm 18:1, 28:7, 59:16-17). God forgives and overlooks our sin when we worship Him through the Son. When we accept Jesus as Lord and savior then we like David are washed as white as snow.
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
Good morning! I’m going to start this morning in Hebrews chapter 3 then we will visit Numbers 20, Genesis 3 and stop in Romans 7.So if everyone is in Hebrews 3 we will start at verse 7 and go to 19
Hebrews 3:7-19 (New International Version)
I want to focus on three things that are said in this section of scripture.
Vs. 8 8do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,
Vs. 11 11So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
And Vs. 13 so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
First I want to point out that this is addressed to Christians verse 1 of this chapter says therefore Holy brothers and sisters, so the author is talking to fellow Christians. Let’s go back to verse 8 where the writer tells us that the Holy Spirit says; “do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Notice that; “do not harden your hearts.” It is an act of our will to harden our hearts. In Exodus we see the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart referred to in two ways.
The Lord said I will harden his heart. (Exodus 4:21) and
Pharoah hardened his heart (Exodus 8:15)
The hardening of our hearts is not something God does so we will be like little robots. God Hardening Pharaoh’s heart is just God allowing Pharaoh to do what is already in his heart. The hardening of our hearts is something we do. We choose to soften our hearts or harden them sometimes God arranges events to help ge our hearts where He wants them, but just as pharaoh’s pride forced him to harden his heart we let circumstances harden or soften our hearts.
So we are told not to harden our hearts as they did in the rebellion. I want to first address the broad way the author of Hebrews is approaching this scripture and then I’m going to tighten it up a little and look at the narrow way of looking at verse 8. The author is talking about how God did not allow the Israelites into the Promised Land because of their unbelief. God has saved and delivered them. That is important to see. The Israelites have already been saved. As I pointed out earlier the author of Hebrews was talking about Christians and here we have the saved Israelites, kinda of like the Old testament version of Christians.So they have been saved and delivered but the Promised Land that they were to be given is not going to be theirs during their lifetime because they doubt. They did not believe that God was truly going to take care of them. Numbers 13 tells of the spies being sent into the Promised Land and they come back talking about the military strength and the fortifications of the cities and then they compare their selves to Grasshoppers amongst these people who were giants. These spies say “we can’t do this. We can’t do this. “
And they are right. They are right, they can’t do it. But God can. These people have already seen the miracles of the plagues. God not only delivered them but made them rich when the Egyptians paid them to leave. They saw the Red Sea split open. Think about that miracle by itself. Any one ever drained a pond and immediately walked in it afterwards. You sink to your knees in the mud but the Israelites had the sea split and crossed on dry ground. Then God allowed the waters to overtake the Egyptians. Just imagine seeing this and then to doubt God. They have survived battles, by armies much stronger and more well trained .They have had bitter water turned sweet, seen manna fall from the sky. God has taken care of these people but when He says “Go and take your reward” they say “We can’t.” Caleb and Joshua were the only two that didn’t harden their hearts and they were the only ones that got to see their reward on this side of heaven.
All the others let unbelief harden their hearts. Think about that they were saved but because sin hardened their hearts they did not get an earthly reward. I’m not saying that Caleb and Joshua didn’t suffer they went through the exact same things as all the other Israelites but to them it wasn’t as bad because they knew that God was carrying them and they got to see the reward of their belief that God would conquer the promised land
Now to the narrow look into this scripture “Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”[
This comes from Psalm 95 and in Psalm 95 it refers to the wilderness as Meribah and Massah. The events at Meribah and Massah are recorded in Exodus 17 and Numbers 20. they refer to Moses getting water from the Rock at Meribah. Now God instructs Moses to talk to the rock and strike it once. Let’s look at Numbers 20:10-13
He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
Moses in his anger at the unbelief of the Israelites hardened his heart and did not honor God as Holy. Because of that Moses did not get to enter the Promised Land in his lifetime. Do you see a pattern? The hardening of our hearts to sin stops us from receiving the reward that God has in store for us. Now a reward might be the blessing in getting to see someone we know come to Christ. One of the hardest things I have had to endure was seeing someone I care about hate me for being honest about what the bible says. But I endured I stayed focused on Jesus and what he wanted and the greatest reward was seeing that person start going to church regularly. If we follow Jesus and do not let our hearts be hardened by sins deceitfulness we will get to see the reward of our efforts.
Lets go back to Hebrews 3. Verses 12 and 13 12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Moses heart was hardened by the disbelief of those around him and that lead to his sin.
Let’s look at two other people who allowed sins deceitfulness to harden their hearts.
Lets back up to Adam and Eve
Genesis 3 is the infamous chapter called the fall. Let’s look at what happened though.3:1-6 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. Notice we are told here that the serpent was crafty or we could say deceitful. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Notice what he just did he misquoted what God had said in an effort to cause confusion and doubt.
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
The beauty of the sinful fruit hardened the heart of Eve. Think about that the allure of sin hardened Eve’s Heart . Satan changed sin from something that kills and destroys to something desirable.
And she gave some to her husband.
Adam loved Eve and in his love for a woman Adam disobeyed God
The love of a woman hardened Adam’s heart.
Disbelief of those around hardened moses’ heart
Beauty hardened Eve’s heart.
Love Hardened Adam’s heart.
, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
So what Hardens our hearts and how does sin deceive us.
Last summer I caught a Garter Snake in the yard. Dustin and I played with it for a while a Savannah took a picture of us holding it. I put the picture on my screensaver at work. A woman I work with walked up and looked at it with disgust asking what is that. I said my son!
She replied No, not the boy. I said oh, That would be me.
I have been married long enough that I have learned that when a woman is holding sharp objects and gets that insane look in her eyes its time for the jokes to stop so I told it was a Garter snake.
A Garter snake.
Well yes but it’s a Garter snake. I try to inform this woman that it lived under our house and eats mice therefore it was friend of mine.
A garter snake.
I then tried to inform her that Garter snakes are harmless and can’t hurt you.
She asked does it bite. I said well yes but I didn’t give it the opportunity and even if it did it’s not poisonous so it wouldn’t have been a big deal had it bitten me.
A garter snake.
She then walked off shaking her head and mumbling something about poor poor Amy.
So I was trying to give the snake a fancy name to make it less harmful sounding to her. To make her hardened to the fear the snake caused
And sometimes we treat sin like that and by making sin less harmful sounding we allow our hearts to be hardened by sins deceitfulness.
I’ve got some examples I’d like to share this morning.
We don’t call it murder in the news because that would give a negative tone to it and would lead a jury to be more likely to convict. It’s Homicide or manslaughter. If I say murder you get an image of brutality and violence in your mind. but if I say homocide it’s not as bad it’s less horrific sounding. Homicide that doesn’t paint as vivid a picture in your head does it.
What about the Murder of an unborn child.
How many people had the word abortion pop in their head as I said that. The murder of an unborn child and we put an innocent sounding name on it like abortion. That doesn’t sound so bad does it. Abortion to stop a process the problem is this is the process of Life that God started we are stopping.
What about Pro Choice. Choices that sounds really nice doesn’t it. By putting a positive word at the beginning we are creating a word that doesn’t create negativity in our minds or our hearts.
What about family planning. That sounds really nice. I can see little kids and a dog named boo. But no that is the murder of an unborn child. Family planning is not killing babies family planning is waiting until your married to have sex as God has Commanded us to do.
The unnatural lust for someone of the same sex. What do we call it homosexuality give it a nice scientific name and it isn’t so bad. Kind of sterilizes it doesn’t it?
Alternative lifestyle. Isn’t that what the Amish have. An alternative lifestyle is living without electricity and traveling by horse and buggy .Having sex in a way that the bible calls an abomination just because a woman named Ellen says it’s okay is not an alternative lifestyle. It is a sin.
Pornography what do we call it Adult entertainment. Adult entertainment That doesn’t sound so bad. Go to Memphis or Nashville and you find Gentleman’s Clubs. Gentleman’s clubs that sounds like a respectable place. A Gentleman is a good thing. Pornography is not entertainment. Matthew 5:28 tells us that to look at a woman lustfully is to commit adultery. Think about that every pornographic image you have looked at is the same in God’s eyes as you committing adultery against your spouse. Pornography is a sin, and it destroys families, marriages and self esteem. It is not entertainment.
Adultery what pleasant terms can we come up with for breaking a marriage covenant. Infidelity, affair, Cheating. Cheating is what you do in the seventh grade when you peek over the shoulder of the guy in front of you to see his answers on a test. Telling your spouse that the covenat that you and her made before God does not matter. That its something as innocent as cheating at aboard game. Think about that when you commit adultery you are telling your spouse and God that what you want is more important than they are.
, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Okay but what does this have to do with me. A Christian living under grace and sanctified by the blood of Christ. Forgiven of all sins past, present and future by the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Maybe you are thinking I haven’t done any of those things anyways, So this doesn’t apply to me.
Yeah, I use the political correct terms of the day so I want offend but that doesn’t cause me to sin.
What does it matter if I use more sensitive language when I talk about these subjects? If I don’t use sensitive language, sinners want listen to me when I try and tell them about Jesus. None of this is causing me to sin. My heart isn’t hardened.
The problem isn’t in using these words in conversing with people the problem is believing these words that harden our hearts.
How many have referred to a friend committing adultery as just having an affair?
You don’t believe you have allowed the deceitfulness of sin to harden your heart! How many while talking to someone who is having marriage difficulties have thought well maybe they shouldn’t be together! Maybe they shouldn’t be together. That is why the divorce rate among Christians is just as high as among none Christians. Because sin has hardened our heart.
Think about what you are truly saying, God I don’t think this couple should honor the contract they made before you They just don’t seem to be able to live up to their part. You know what though lucky for us God doesn’t decide to give up on the contract he gave lost sinners just because we can’t live up to our part of the contract. We all would be in a mess then.
When we become scared to call sin what it is because we may offend someone we have allowed sin to harden our hearts and that leads to us disobeying God.
Christians wrestle with sin that what makes God’s mercy so amazing is even though He knows we will still sin He forgives us.
Look at Romans 7 Paul is telling us that the law is there so we will know sin and notice how Paul wrestles with sin in v1515I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Look at that What I hate I do. That is a man on his knees in conviction of his sin.
16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. Now he is saying God you are right this is a sin 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Lord I can’t do this. That is a sinner begging for God’s grace and help19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. That is what a sinner on his knees sounds like!
Why is God allowing Paul to suffer and wrestle with sin. Why does God allow us to suffer and wrestle with sin.
Being saved requires repentance. Repentance is the changing of one’s way of thinking. So to repent of sin is to realize that I am committing sin and to realize that Jesus died for that sin so that I could have eternal life with the father. Jesus refers to the Holy spirit as the helper, and counselor. So how does the Holy Spirit help me or counsel me.
When I sin the Holy Spirit will convict me. Ephesians 4 gives us instructions for Christian living v 30 tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. This grieving is conviction it is the feeling in our heart of knowing that we have done wrong. So what do we do with this feeling we pray, Just as David cried out to God in Psalm 51 We should admit against you God have I sinned. Our forgiveness is there but we still have our old nature to show us we are dependant upon God.
But when we change the name of sin so that we are not convicted when we change the name of sin so that others are not convicted we are telling God that we do not need Him and His definition of sin. We are telling God what sin is and not listening to him so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness..
Earlier I said I told the woman that even if the Garter snake had bitten me it wouldn’t hurt me. I got to thinking about that I had a friend get bitten by a boa constrictor and a fang broke off in his hand. The bite got infected and hurt him for several days just as what seems like a small private sin can grow and hurt us if we don’t call it what it is.
We must recognize sin for what it is. It is disobeying God, and changing the name of it so that we won’t be convicted is not honoring God as Holy. Remember Moses he did not get to see the promised land because he did not honor God as holy. Jesus died on a cross for you and I. He bled so that I could be washed in that blood. It was Jesus that saved me. And I can turn back and live in sin and I can change the name of it so I won’t be convicted but I will never enter God’s rest in my lifetime. Or I can thank Jesus for what he did it can drink of his living water. I can call out to Him I am a sinner Lord help me. And I will get to know what it is like to have Jesus take my burden on Him. How many have had some kind of stress in their life this week. Jesus said hey I want to take that from you rely on me, live for me. You’ll still go through the wilderness like Caleb and Joshua did but the whole time you will know that you Jesus is carrying you. By not allowing our heart to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, I will no what it’s like to live for Christ. I will get to see the rewards of living for Him. I’ll get to hear that child come to know him I get to see that friend fall to their knee’s in repentance I’ll get to hear that elderly gentleman call out to Jesus with his dying breathe. I will always have that presence around me letting me know that no Scott can’t do this But I can, God can, Jesus can. All you have to do is today “Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” and do not let the deceitfulness of sin harden your heart.
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
1 O LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.
7 Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Essay on Psalm 3
Augustine, Theodoret and many of the other early church fathers considered the title part of the inspired text. This is important because it lets us know that the author wants us to relate the Psalm to a specific event in David’s life. This Psalm is divided into four sections with two verses in each section. The first section consisting of v.1-2 state a need to God, v.3-4 state confidence in God, v.5-6 state trust or security in God and v.7-8 are a prayer to God. David states his situation to God in v.1-2. Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him,” parallels with Shimei cursing David and saying “the Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed.” He lets us know in v.3-4 that God is the one who controls his destiny and placed him as King as v.4’s designation as the one who lifts his head is a sign of Divine appointment. “I lay down and slept; I woke again” (v.5) shows that God is his protector and “I will not be afraid” (v.6) shows the comfort he has in God’s protection. In v.7, using a figurative interpretation, we can interpret “You strike all my enemies on the cheek” as the humbling of those who oppose David and “You break the teeth of the wicked as” God making those who oppose David speechless. The Psalm ends stating deliverance belongs to God as the main point in this Psalm.
Thinking of the Author as David as he fled from his son, it is easy to see that this psalm is telling us that no matter what comes our way (v.1) even if it is deserved (v.2, 2 Samuel 12:11), when we call on the Lord we can count on Him protecting (v.5), comforting (v.6) and in the end saving us (v.7, 8). If we forgive those who oppose us and allow God to take vengeance when we are being attacked, then He will humble and quiet those who are against us (v.7.)
We can see in v.3 “a shield” implies that it is God that intervenes in our life to protect us from dangers. “The lifter of my head” implies that it is God that gives us our positions in life. “My glory” tells us that our glory, or the way others perceive us, is under God’s control. This glory looks to the New Testaments honor that comes from the Holy Spirit that dwells inside us.
This Psalm also shows us how in times when we are downhearted we should look at the times in the past when God has been there to help and comfort us. In v.4 David looks back at the times he had cried aloud to the Lord and God answered him. We should always remember that our God is there looking down on His Holy Hill awaiting for us to cry arise, O’Lord and save me, so He can look down upon us as a king surveying his kingdom for the cries that come from below.
Significance. This Psalm applies to believers today, because it lets us know that even if we live by faith, pain and problems will still come. But we can always look back on God and has He has helped us in the past. He will sustain us and restore us. It also restates that vengeance belongs to the lord and that he will take care of our enemies, we must just be still and know that he is God.
C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David Volume 1, Old Time Gospel Hour Edition (Thomas Nelson, Nashville TN) 25
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Fully Revised)(Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan) 1054
2 Samuel 16:8
Peter C. Craige, Psalms 1-50 World Biblical Commentary (Word Books, Waco, Texas, 1983) 74
Peter C. Craige, Psalms 1-50 World Biblical Commentary (Word Books, Waco, Texas, 1983) 75
John Goldingay, Psalms Volume 1 Baker Commentary on the Old Testament (Baker Academic, Grand Rapids Michigan,2006)114
This verse predicts David’s Kingdom being taken from him as a punishment for his sin.
Assuming we have repented and asked forgiveness. see Psalm 51
Gerald H. Wilson, Psalms volume 1 NIVAC (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002) 137
John Goldingay, Psalms Volume 1 Baker Commentary on the Old Testament (Baker Academic, Grand Rapids Michigan,2006)113
In 2 Samuel 11 we learn of David’s adultery. As David strolls about the top of his palace he sees Bathsheba bathing on her roof. He stares lustfully at her and asks one of his servants to find out who she is. Upon finding out that her husband is gone David gives in to his desires and sends for her. The sleep together and she becomes pregnant.
David trying to cover up his sin calls for her husband Uriah. David thinks that Uriah will go home and sleep with his wife and believe that he is the father of the child. But Uriah is more honorable than David and refuses to go to his wife, when all the other men are still away at war. So David plots his death, orders his generals to set it up, and then brought Bathsheba to him as his wife.
So Nathan comes to David and tells him a parable of a poor man who has nothing but one little sheep, he raised it from a baby lamb. It eats with him, sleeps with him and he treats it as a daughter. But there is a rich man with many cattle and many sheep in this town. This rich man gets a visit from a traveler and instead of killing one of his own sheep for the meal, he steals the poor mans lamb and kills it.
David burns with anger. He says this man must pay for this lamb and must die, because he shows no pity! As David stews in his anger at this injustice, Nathan says “you are that man!” Realization of his sin sinks in as David drops to his knees broken and repentative.
David looks at Nathan and says “I have sinned against the Lord.” David could have said “If she hadn’t been on bathing on her roof this wouldn’t have happened.”
He could have blamed Uriah for not sleeping with her when he gave him the chance. David said “I have sinned against the Lord”
Then David went into prayer and as you read Psalm 51 notice how David takes all the blame on himself. He admits his sin. He asks God to forgive him and cleanse him. He declares that God is right in his judgment.
In Psalm 51:17 He says my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. God does not want a ritual or for us to put on an act of sorrow. God wants us to realize our sin and for our hearts to be grieved over failing him. He wants us to realize our brokenness and call on Jesus to save us from it. Only through Jesus can we find that relief from our guilt (v.14). Only thorough Jesus can we be cleansed of our sins( v.7).
Adam and Eve tried to pass the blame for their sins off on others. David shows us how we should accept the blame ourselves.
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Anyways, my grandma Cill used to have a pet rooster. It would ride on her shoulder as she worked in the yard. This rooster trusted and loved her. Most roosters are mean and see humans as trying to control THEIR barnyard. It is their natural tendency to either attack or run from humans, but this rooster, after learning that my grandmother cared for it, would come to her and trust her.
We are like that rooster. Our natural tendency is to do everything for ourselves and if someone tries to control our lives we get defensive and attack or we run the other way. Yet when we learn that Jesus loves and cares for us, many of us will choose to obey. Then through the help of the Holy Spirit, we come too fully and trust and obey. Even though it goes against our nature to ask for help we choose to ask for God’s guidance.
Our choice to go against our very nature and worship God and follow Jesus brings Glory to God. By freely choosing Jesus over our sin nature we lead an example to those who have not yet conquered the world’s hold over them. Plus when we turn our lives over to Jesus He then helps us to overcome the world through His Holy Spirit.
By the way I’m not sure if the chicken escaped the dumplings or not. Maybe one of my aunts or uncles will see this and let me know.
just as You promised.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep Your word.
You are good, and You do what is good;
teach me Your statutes.
Psalm 119:65-68 HCSB
This line in 1 Peter is often mentioned when talking about Spiritual warfare. I doubt any Christian would deny that the devil has turned Earth into his playground. You can’t turn on the TV without being tempted by sin. You can’t go out on Friday night without seeing it everywhere. If you work in the secular world, someone is always talking about how drunk they got or the one night stand they had or their extramarital affair. Yet these invites and temptations are easy to resist, because we know they were put there by Satan.
Now let’s look at war. For many centuries one foe gathered on one side the other gathered on the other side. Then they tried to see who could kill the most. It’s a little more complicated now with tanks, aircraft, missiles and bombs. Still the object is to do enough damage so that the enemy surrenders. But these are just battles not war. War takes place a long ways off from the battlefield. It takes place in our military headquarters. Generals are planning each and every battle. They place men in strategic locations with very specific missions. The most powerful weapon any military has is it’s spies. The intelligence gathers. They let the adversary know where their enemy is going to be and they stir up confusion. There is a show on TV called the Mole where a team has a task they are supposed to do, yet the whole time one member of the team is trying to sabotage everything. The object of the game is to determine who the mole is. This also is Satan’s most powerful tool. Just about any book I have read where a pastor talks about the biggest problem in their ministries, it is from within. The gossipers, backbiters, and slanderers are what destroy ministries. That is what spiritual warfare is. It is fighting Satan when he is amongst us. I just finished reading The Ten Offenses by Pat Robertson. In it he mentions a man that had his life ruined by a little gossip. He lost his wife, his reputation, and his business went bankrupt. All this was because another Christian started a little white lie, and other Christians passed it on.
Now I want to look to the bible. I’m going to start with David. Think back to Absalom’s Conspiracy (2 Samuel 15) it hurt David that his son turned on him, but he knew that it was God’s judgment on him and accepted it. What hurt him though was Ahitophel’s betrayal. (2 Samuel 15:31) In Psalm 41:9 David says even my close friend, someone I trusted…has lifted up his heel against me. David understood his son’s greed for power. He understood God’s punishment on him. But the one person he thought he could count on betrayed him.
Job had lost everything. In one day he lost his livelihood and all his children. (Job 1:13-21) Then to top it off he became sick! (Job 2:7) What did Job need; a friend to encourage him, a shoulder to lean on. Instead he got three friends that proceeded to tear him down.
Even Jesus was betrayed by someone he loved. Yes, he knew what was going to happen yet he still loved Judas. (Matthew 26:14) We are told to encourage one another. (2 Corinthians 13:11) We should try to lift one another up. We should try to help each other and not tear each other down. Our old sin nature and adversary the devil wants to see us tear each other down.
I imagine everyone of us knows a fellow Christian going through a hard time. Do we reach out and help or do we hurt them as Job’s friends did him.
John 14:6 NIV
It amazes me some of the things God uses to talk to us! I was at work the other day when he used something I see everyday to teach me. The machine I run has a light sensor to keep the machine from cycling when someone is in the way. It sends a laser beam to a reflector which reflects it back to the box to say all clear, or to tell it someone is there. As I’m looking at the reflector, it dawned on me that that is what we as Christians are. We are reflectors! We are supposed to reflect Christ in our life which lets a lost world know someone is there. Have you ever been driving down the road at night and saw the reflectors on a bicycle? In the dark you can’t see the bicycle or the rider, but when your lights hit the reflectors you know someone is there. The world is that darkness. A lost person going through the darkness is hopeless! Until up ahead they see the light and then they know someone is there. John 1:1-5,9 refers to Jesus as the Light. Paul tells us we should imitate Christ. (Ephesians 5:1) People should be able see Christ in us. They should see The Light that is Jesus in us reflecting off of us.We can’t generate that light ourselves, because we are flesh and therefore sinners. (Galatians 5:17) We are the darkness. Yet when we accept Jesus as our Savior He comes to live inside us through His Holy Spirit. Now look at Psalm 119:74. We should be able to recognize other Christians. We should rejoice when we see other Christians. There should be a joy and hope that reflects off them. Just as we can see it so can the lost. They will want to know what is the source of our hope and joy.(1 Peter 3:15)
As you go through the rest of the week, ask yourself “Am I reflecting Christ in my life? When someone is alone in the darkness of the world and they see me, do they know Someone is there?”
Blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but who delight in the law of the LORD and meditate on His law day and night. They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will be destroyed.
I picked up my Bible and started reading. I had heard the Bible stories as a child. I had even tried reading the Bible before. Like most people when they start begatting I begot bored. This time I prayed first. Lord I want to read your word. I want to understand it. I want answers. As I read I realized no matter what I had done God still loved me. He had been there all along waiting for me to return to him. My sin was washed as clean as snow. Isaiah 1:18 God gave me so many examples of His love and forgiveness. Jacob stealing his brother’s birth right.Genessis 27 how he wrestled with God. Genesis 32:24-29 and how he stood by and did nothing as his sons massacred a village.Genesis34:25-30(Old Jacob sure knows how to make someone feel good about theirself.) God still blessed him. God speaks of David with Pride. Acts 13:22( I give this example but God used David as the standard to measure all kings from this point on) Yet we know David committed adultery 2 samiuel 11:4 and arranged a murder 2 samuel 11:14-15 to hide the fact. But when we read Chronicles God has forgotten about it. Why did He forget? David went to Him in Sincere Prayer. Psalm 51 He confessed his sin and asked the Lord to blot out his transgressions. That’s all we have to do. The day I got down on my knees and told the Lord these are the things I’ve done please forgive me. Immediately I felt as if a bag of rocks had been taken off my back. A few years later I’m doing a church newsletter working with the children and youth of our Church, and now doing this blog in the hopes that I might help someone else.