Baskets And Palaces??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 23

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 23  Baskets And Palaces???

 

Just a few thoughts on whether we are being willing to serve with ‘baskets’ if that’s where God has us, or if we are so busy pursuing ‘palaces’ on our own, that we reject and diminish the value of ‘baskets’!

There be four things which are little

upon the earth,

but they are exceeding wise:

25 The ants are a people not strong,

yet they prepare their meat

in the summer;

26 The conies are but a feeble folk,

yet make they their houses

in the rocks;

27 The locusts

have no king, yet go they forth

all of them by bands;

28 The spider

taketh hold with her hands,

and is in kings’ palaces.”   Proverbs 30:24-28

There are good things of God’s creation that are small but powerful, and God wants us to learn from His creation.  Yet, there are small things of God’s creation that while small, they demand caution and care, and we often forget to beware of the difference.  James warns us of one of the greatest dangers we face daily—our words, our tongue!

For in many things we offend all.

If any man offend not in word,

the same is a perfect man,

and able also to bridle the whole body.

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths,

that they may obey us;

and we turn about their whole body.

4 Behold also the ships,

which though they be so great,

and are driven of fierce winds,

yet are they turned about

with a very small helm,

whithersoever the governor listeth.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member,

and boasteth great things.

Behold, how great a matter

a little fire kindleth!

6 And the tongue is a fire,

a world of iniquity:

so is the tongue

among our members,

that it defileth

the whole body,

and setteth on fire

the course of nature;

and it is set on fire

of hell.

7 For every kind of beasts,

and of birds,

and of serpents,

and of things in the sea,

is tamed,

and hath been tamed

of mankind:

8 But the tongue

can no man tame;

it is an unruly evil,

full of deadly poison.”  James 3:2-8

James goes on to tell us even more about our tongue—in a nut-shell— ‘we can control our tongue with God’s help and the work of The Holy Spirit’, or ‘we can allow our tongue to control us’!  Our words can bring life, peace and hope to others, or we can speak things that do more harm than a gun or knife could ever do!  How often have we wished we could take back “our words”—but once they are out, they are irretrievable.  How true is the proverb (not a biblical one, but a true one, nonetheless) that I have often quoted, “Watch your words and keep them sweet!  You never know which ones you’ll eat!”  What are you doing with your words?

But the tongue

can no man tame;

it is an unruly evil,

full of deadly poison.

9 Therewith bless we God,

even the Father;

and therewith curse we men,

which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth

proceedeth blessing

and cursing.

My brethren,

these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place

sweet water

and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren,

bear olive berries?

either a vine,

figs?

so can no fountain both yield

salt water

and fresh.

13 Who is a wise man

and endued with knowledge among you?

let him shew out of a good conversation

his works

with meekness of wisdom.”  James 3:8-13

Do our words reveal meekness and wisdom?  If our fountain is full of God’s Spirit, may our words reflect it!

You all remember Moses? Well, I’d like to consider Moses and his parents—scripture tells us that they had a heart to believe God and pursue HIS purposes, even if it meant relying on a small basket; even though it could have cost them their lives as well as the life of their tiny baby!

But God took that “basket” into the “palace”.  Many today are busy trying to push their children into “palaces” of fame, fortune, or popularity at any cost.  We dress them up like harlots, and immoral movie stars, actors, musicians, and other rabble, with no regard for what we are encouraging them to pursue.  We send them out with all their virtue uncovered and wonder why their morals fail.  We fill their lives with constant activity, yet we take very little time to teach them what God expects of them; and how to follow God’s Word.  May heaven help us see the import of teaching them about modesty, dignity, self-respect, and respectability!  Oh, please God our Father, open our eyes to see YOUR truth.

And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

2 And the woman conceived,

and bare a son:

and when she saw him that he was a goodly child,

she hid him three months.

3 And when she could not longer hide him,

she took for him an ark of bulrushes,

and daubed it with slime and with pitch,

and put the child therein;

and she laid it in the flags

by the river’s brink.

4 And his sister stood afar off,

to wit what would be done to him.

5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down

to wash herself at the river;

and her maidens walked along by the river’s side;

and when she saw the ark among the flags,

she sent her maid to fetch it.

6 And when she had opened it,

she saw the child:

and, behold, the babe wept.

And she had compassion on him, and said,

This is one of the Hebrews’ children.

7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter,

Shall I go and call to thee a nurse

of the Hebrew women,

that she may nurse the child

for thee?…

10 And the child grew,

and she brought him

unto Pharaoh’s daughter,

and he became her son.

And she called his name Moses:

and she said,

Because I drew him

out of the water.”   Exodus 2:1-7 & 10

God knew where that basket would end up, and while Moses’ mother didn’t know that I believe she had an idea of the possibility of his rescue, especially since she sent his older sister to watch the outcome of her actions.  She acted in faith and knew her God would provide somehow!  I’m so glad that the book of Hebrews describes the events from God’s perspective that she didn’t have at the time—but she did know the God who did KNOW!!!  Remember that faithfulness to God produces obedience, and obedience will result in other’s seeing the faithfulness of GOD ALMIGHTY! And a mother of faith, changed the future of her son and her people—not by her own power, but by trusting in the God who did have the power!

Moses Parents:

By faith Moses,

when he was born,

was hid three months

of his parents,

because they saw

he was a proper child;

and they were not afraid

of the king’s commandment.”  Hebrews 11:23

Moses the adult:

By faith Moses,

when he was come to years,

refused to be called the son

of Pharaoh’s daughter;

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction

with the people of God,

than to enjoy the pleasures of sin

for a season;

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ

greater riches

than the treasures in Egypt:

for he had respect

unto the recompence of the reward.

27 By faith

he forsook Egypt,

not fearing the wrath of the king:

for he endured,

as seeing him who is invisible.

28 Through faith he kept the passover,

and the sprinkling of blood,

lest he that destroyed the firstborn

should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red sea

as by dry land:

which the Egyptians assaying to do

were drowned.”  Hebrews 11:24-29

Both Moses and his parents chose to go God’s way even when it was unpopular, even when it was against the law for him to be kept alive as an infant, yet his mother and father believed that God had a plan even though it might cost them their lives as well as Moses’ life.  How is it that we would rather blend in than stand for what we say we believe?  I find it interesting that while most have read and stand by what they read in the first half of Hebrews 11, many often overlook the last half that describes those whose faith appeared to “fail” before the world—according to the “name-it-and-claim-it” folks.  God says faith is faith in HIM and HIS provision, not in how things may look, nor the opinion of the world!  When did we choose popular opinion over biblical obedience?  See what God says in the last part of Hebrews 11.

And others had trial

of cruel mockings

and scourgings,

yea, moreover

of bonds

and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned,

they were sawn asunder,

were tempted,

were slain with the sword:

they wandered about

in sheepskins

and goatskins;

being destitute,

afflicted,

tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:)

they wandered in deserts,

and in mountains,

and in dens

and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report

through faith,

received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us,

that they without us

should not be made perfect.”   Hebrews 11:36-40

Whose approval are you after?  I think I’d rather seek God’s approval in a basket, than the world’s in a palace void of God’s presence.  God’s plan seldom matches what the world is expecting.  What do your kids see in your choices?  Are you leading them to trust in God or something or someone else?  What do those around you see in you?  God or the world?  We must choose!

Study to shew thyself approved unto God,

a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing

the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

May we heed Paul’s call unto Timothy and see the import of God’s Word, and use it to “order” our steps; it will surely lead us into the ways of God—which the world will never do.  May we learn like Joshua to choose rightly, regardless of what others do.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,

choose you this day

whom ye will serve;

whether the gods which your fathers served

that were on the other side of the flood,

or the gods of the Amorites,

in whose land ye dwell:

but as for me and my house,

we will serve the LORD.  Joshua 24:15

God’s rules have never changed—and they never will!

Jesus Christ

the same yesterday,

and to day,

and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Will you stand with the unchanging Christ or the transient world around us?  It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test.

To him that overcometh

will I grant to sit with me

in my throne,

even as I also overcame,

and am set down with my Father

in his throne.”  Revelation 3:21

Amen and Amen!!!

Is Small Insignificant??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 22

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 22   Is Small Insignificant???

 

We live in a world of “king size” it. Extra large please?  Cups so big they won’t fit in the ‘cup’ holder?  Double, triple and even bigger burgers.  Houses that parallel castles, and cars that are more like a greyhound bus than a family car!  Yet, what has all this brought us to?  I think, in part, the inability to discern between the small in size and the insignificant in reality.  Let’s consider some small things and see what God’s Word has to say about “size”

There was a lunch of 5 loaves and 3 small fish—that fed 5,000+; a young boy with a sling and 5 stones—who brought down a giant with only 1 stone; there was another young boy whom God called to deliver a man-sized message—Samuel delivered God’s message of judgment to Eli; there was a small town which hosted the birth of the King of Kings—tiny Bethlehem!

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah,

though thou be little

among the thousands of Judah,

yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me

that is to be ruler in Israel;

whose goings forth

have been from of old,

from everlasting.”  Micah 5:2

God doesn’t see what we see—and we, sad to say, often don’t see what God is calling us to see.

Seek ye the LORD

while he may be found,

call ye upon him

while he is near:

7 Let the wicked

forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man

his thoughts:

and let him return

unto the LORD,

and he will have mercy upon him;

and to our God,

for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts

are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways

my ways,

saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens

are higher than the earth,

so are my ways

higher than your ways,

and my thoughts

than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:6-9

And as the Proverbs tells us:

There is a way

that seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 16:25

There is a way

which seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 14:12

Jesus talked about a narrow gate, and the “few” that find it.  And that is about as significant a passage as we will find regarding the import of seeking God’s “small” things, which in reality are the “big” things!  For you see, sometimes the seemingly small things have giant consequences!  Both of the above proverbs make it clear to us that when we miss the things of God, by choosing our own wisdom over God’s the consequence can be “deadly”!  Just because it’s popular or the “buzz word” of the day, doesn’t make it true—and regardless of what is accepted today—JESUS IS TRUTH!–  and HE is the standard by which we will all be judged.

For the word of God

is quick,

and powerful,

and sharper than any twoedged sword,

piercing even to the dividing asunder

of soul and spirit,

and of the joints and marrow,

and is a discerner

of the thoughts

and intents

of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature

that is not manifest in his sight:

but all things are naked and opened

unto the eyes of him

with whom

we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:12-13

Jesus Himself reminds us that we must choose between that which is popular and that which is right!  The majority is seldom spiritually right!  Don’t believe everything you see or hear, we must compare all things to what God has said, and by the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ—The Truth! (see John 14:6)!  There are many false voices proclaiming themselves wise today—beware!

Enter ye in

at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be

which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be

that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly

they are ravening wolves.”  Matthew 7:13-15

Paul had a lot to say about being aware of what we hear and see and being wise to discern between the true and false—what may appear to be small is often truly foundational to know God and HIS truth!  While your call or mine may seem insignificant to the world—if God has called us to it, may we go forward in faith, confidence and obedience and leave the results up to our God.  It worked for David, Samuel, and Andrew who brought a small lunch to The Master, and it will still work God’s way for us too, if we but learn to exercise our faith and trust in God and HIS Word!  Oh my, YES!

For Christ sent me not to baptize,

but to preach the gospel:

not with wisdom of words,

lest the cross of Christ

should be made of none effect.

18 For the preaching of the cross

is to them that perish

foolishness;

but unto us

which are saved

 it is the power of God.

19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom

of the wise,

and will bring to nothing

the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise?

where is the scribe?

where is the disputer of this world?

hath not God made foolish

the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God

the world by wisdom knew not God,

it pleased God

by the foolishness of preaching

to save them that believe.”    1 Corinthians 1:17-21

Ouch!  Remember our passage above from Isaiah:

For my thoughts

are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways

 my ways,

saith the LORD

I just love the way that God gave Paul to weave truths together, and that is just what he did in this first letter to the Corinthian believers; he goes on in chapter 3 to paint a most profound picture of the difference between doing things our way and doing them God’s way!

According to the grace of God

which is given unto me,

as a wise masterbuilder,

I have laid the foundation,

and another buildeth thereon.

But let every man take heed

how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation

can no man lay

than that is laid,

which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation

gold,

silver,

 precious stones,

wood,

hay,

stubble;

13 Every man’s work

shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed

by fire;

and the fire shall try

every man’s work

of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide

which he hath built thereupon,

he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work shall be burned,

he shall suffer loss:

but he himself shall be saved;

yet so as by fire.

16 Know ye not

that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God

dwelleth in you?  1 Corinthians 3:10-16

Wow!  What a picture—we can choose to do God’s work with God’s materials—gold, silver, precious stones (those things which are created by God, and only mined by diligent pursuit of God’s treasure)!  Or we can choose to appear to do “God’s” work our own way, using the feeble, temporal, flammable materials of this earth (those things which can be produced by human effort!  Think about that!)!  When we belong to Jesus, we are to pursue HIS works, not our own works—usually done for our own glory, in our own power, hence the lack of reward, when our works lay in ashes with nothing to offer our KING!

Can you see the difference between the seemingly insignificant and that which is of eternal value?  It kind of makes it clear why we see so few Goliaths falling around us!  Please God, help us see what you see in all these distracting things around us, and help me/us to pursue Your will, that we might do Your work, Your way!

I would like to simply close with the words of our Lord to help us reevaluate our focus.

And when thou prayest,

thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:

for they love to pray standing in the synagogues                                       and in the corners of the streets,

that they may be seen of men.

Verily I say unto you,

They have their reward.

6 But thou,

when thou prayest,

enter into thy closet,

and when thou hast shut thy door,

pray to thy Father

which is in secret;

and thy Father

which seeth in secret

shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray,

use not vain repetitions,

as the heathen do:

for they think that they

shall be heard

for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore

like unto them:

for your Father knoweth

what things ye have need of,

before ye ask him.

9 After this manner therefore

pray ye:

Our Father

which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

in earth,

as it is in heaven.”   Matthew 6:5-10

Amen and Amen!!!

Remember To Forget??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #754

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #754  Remember To Forget???

 

I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘what a strange title’, and yes, it is a bit strange but there are some things that scripture reminds us that we ought to forget and press on regardless.  Let’s delve into a few and see what we can find out.

Not as though I had already attained,

either were already perfect:

but I follow after,

if that I may apprehend

that for which also I am apprehended

of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren, I count not myself

to have apprehended:

but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth unto those things

which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect,

be thus minded:

and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,

God shall reveal even this

unto you.”  Philippians 3:12-15

Here we have a passage of encouragement from the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi—a letter of commendation with very little correction.  Yet, his instruction was a word of warning to walk faithfully before our God, and a watching world.  And we ought to take heed to his instruction and press on with our eyes wide open and our hearts and minds on guard, diligently remembering what to forget.

We begin our look at this passage with Paul’s declaration that he (in Blanche’s paraphrase) had “not arrived”, or in his words “not already attained” to all that God had for him to “be” and “do”.  We so often forget what we should remember; that ‘being’ comes before ‘doing’.  When we belong to Jesus we are to yield our hearts and minds to him, as Paul reminded them of in chapter 2.

Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who,

being in the form of God,

thought it not robbery

to be equal with God:

7 But made himself

of no reputation,

and took upon him

the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.”   Philippians 2:5-8

When we pursue the mind of Christ—the heart and mind of servanthood, as well as living the crucified life—the willingness to be “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”!  Yet so much of the American Christian culture is focused on making Christianity a convenience rather than a sacrificed life!  But back to our consideration of “forgetting”.

Paul told the church at Philippi, as he is telling us today, that he has yielded his life to be what he called being “apprehended of Christ Jesus”, a total contrast of a culture that has and is trying to make Jesus/God a magic genie who is at our disposal for ease, comfort, and the supply of every worldly device that we might be enthralled with!  Instead, Paul goes on to give us the true key to walking with The Lord in power, peace, and productivity by HIS Spirit!  Ouch! But he goes on to remind us that we are not only “apprehended of” Jesus, but we are to continually purse the things of God by HIS power, grace and HIS Word!  Paul says something so powerful that we often miss it in the sheer simplicity of his words:

this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth

unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus

WOW!  ONE. THING. I. DO.

I press toward the mark—

As I forget those things which are behind me–

 As I reach forth for what is before me—

Knowing that I am pressing on—

For the prize-

Of the high calling

Of GOD

IN JESUS!

And my dear ones, JESUS. IS. THE. PRIZE.!!!  Paul also reminds us that if we are mature this is the mindset that should mark our lives before a lost and dying world!  He also says that if we are pursuing Jesus, The Prize, HE will lead us and correct us; and if we are without any correction from the Lord, then we better examine what or who we think saved us.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation

which speaketh unto you

as unto children,

My son,

despise not thou the chastening

of the Lord,

nor faint

when thou art rebuked of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth

he chasteneth,

and scourgeth every son

whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening,

God dealeth with you as with sons;

for what son is he

whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement,

whereof all are partakers,

then are ye bastards,

and not sons.”  Hebrews 12:5-8

Jesus told us that there are things to remember, even things that we want to forget.  The problem is we often fall into the habit of walking in the past with fear of tomorrow, not what God has called us to.  With God’s forgiveness, and cleansing, we can forget the failures of the past and boldly remind the enemy that we are forgiven, when we repent, confess, and receive not only God’s forgiveness but His cleansing and healing. For God has “not given us the spirit of fear;, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind…“!

If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just

to forgive us

our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us.”  1 John 1:9-10

Our forgiven sin is not subject to the enemy’s use or reminders.  We can forget what God has forgotten, by reminding ourselves (and others) that we ARE forgiven!

He will turn again,

he will have compassion upon us;

he will subdue our iniquities;

and thou wilt cast all their sins

into the depths of the sea.”  Micah 7:19

How can God forget our sin, and see us as righteous?  Good question, but one that scripture answers clearly.

For he hath made him to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made the righteousness of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

As Corrie Ten Boom often said, “God buries our sins in the depths of the sea and then puts up a sign that reads, “No Fishing.””  Jesus’ substitutionary, atoning sacrifice paid my sin debt and yours (He paid it for all who will believe in His death, burial, and resurrection for our sin, See John 3:16-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-5), therefore God sees those who are born again through the shed blood of Jesus—making us righteous before God, all because Jesus took my sin upon Himself and paid for it at Calvary!  Hence our sins are covered by the blood, forgiven, and forgotten before God—soooo, remember to forget what God has forgotten and forgiven.  Be sure to keep short accounts on sin and keep it under the blood.  And if others have sinned against us, we are to forgive liberally, and if we have wronged others, we are to seek forgiveness.  Then let it go, in the vernacular, “forget it”!

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar,

and there rememberest

that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar,

and go thy way;

first be reconciled to thy brother,

and then come and offer thy gift.”   Matthew 5:23-24

And when ye stand praying,

forgive,

if ye have ought

against any:

that your Father also which is in heaven

may forgive you

your trespasses.”  Mark 11:25

Let me just say, I know the old saying as well as anyone, “I can forgive but I can’t forget!”  But may we consider the words of Paul again—while maybe I can’t, God can!

 

I can do all things through Christ

which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

All because of what Jesus has done for me.

And hope

maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time Christ died

for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:5-8

And in closing, let me simply say, what can I refuse to forgive someone else of, that would equal what Jesus has forgiven me of!  Nothing!  And believe me, I have wrestled with forgiveness just like you, but I have learned that when I “give it to Jesus” and remember that HE HAS forgiven me for more than I can (or want to) remember, I must rest in HIS work in me, and the truth of scripture, forgiving, and forgetting (the offense not the reality of an action). (Meaning to receive God’s power to live in Jesus’ forgiveness when I can’t erase the thoughts!)!  And believe me, there are thoughts that keep coming back again and again, but if I can depend on God to supply my need, so can YOU!  Remember—you can forget, by remembering Philippians 2:5, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”  “Father forgive them“!

And one simple verse that brings reality to what I’m trying to share; God knows it’s not always up to you alone!  Others don’t always desire peace.

Recompense to no man

evil for evil.

Provide things honest

in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible,

as much as lieth in you,

 live peaceably with all men.   Romans 12:17-18

Remember, we win!

Amen and Amen!!!

 

My Hope Is Secure??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 21

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 21  My Hope Is Secure???

 

As the hart panteth

after the water brooks,

so panteth my soul

after thee, O God.

2 My soul thirsteth for God,

for the living God:

when shall I come

and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my meat

day and night,

while they continually say unto me,

Where is thy God?

4 When I remember these things,

I pour out my soul in me:

for I had gone with the multitude,

I went with them to the house of God,

with the voice of joy

and praise,

with a multitude

that kept holyday.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul?

and why art thou disquieted in me?

hope thou in God:

for I shall yet praise him

for the help of his countenance.

6 O my God,

my soul is cast down within me:

therefore will I remember thee

from the land of Jordan,

and of the Hermonites,

from the hill Mizar.

7 Deep calleth unto deep

at the noise of thy waterspouts:

all thy waves and thy billows

are gone over me.

8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness

in the daytime,

and in the night his song

shall be with me,

and my prayer

unto the God of my life.

9 I will say unto God my rock,

Why hast thou forgotten me?

why go I mourning

because of the oppression of the enemy?

10 As with a sword in my bones,

mine enemies reproach me;

while they say daily unto me,

Where is thy God?

11 Why art thou cast down,

O my soul?

and why art thou disquieted within me?

hope thou in God:

for I shall yet praise him,

who is the health of my countenance,

and my God.”  Psalm 42:1-11

As we consider many of the things going on around us, we can often become what the Psalmist describes as, “cast down, O my soul”……and our souls may become “disquieted in me”!  Yet, we can take heart and have the same confidence that the Psalmist had, and surely “hope thou in God”.  We must keep our eyes on Jesus, the “author and finisher of our faith”!

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside

every weight,

and the sin

which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run with patience

the race that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus

the author

and finisher

of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand

of the throne of God.

3 For consider him

that endured such contradiction of sinners

against himself,

lest ye be wearied

and faint in your minds”. Hebrews 12:1-3

Our call is to follow Jesus, keep our eyes on HIM, and to run the race that HE has set before us; all in the assurance that many have experienced the faithfulness of God before us—in believing the witnesses, laying aside sin and the weights of trials that surround us, running the persistent race, with our Lord and HIS Word in view!  We must recognize that the great “cloud of witnesses”, are not a stadium of spectators, but the faithful who have walked the journey of faith before us.  In fact, many of them gave testimony to God’s faithfulness in chapter 11—known as the faith chapter!  And as we experience more and more of God’s faithfulness we can truly learn to walk consistently by faith!  And oh, what a faithful GOD we serve!  Paul gave us great advise for pursuing excellence in following our God.

Brethren,

I count not myself to have apprehended:

 but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth

unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore,

as many as be perfect,

be thus minded:

and if in any thing

ye be otherwise minded,

God shall reveal even this

unto you.”  Philippians 3:13-15

As we pursue the prize of our calling in Jesus, may we truly learn to live the crucified life: crucified to self and alive unto Jesus our Lord and King in all our ways!

I am crucified

with Christ:

nevertheless

I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

So, my friends, where is your hope placed?  Don’t let the enemy deceive you into hoping in yourself or the world, for God truly is our “very present help in trouble”!  And if there was ever a world in trouble, we’re living in it!  But don’t lose heart—we win because our GOD wins!!!

Seeing then

that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast

our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points

tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help

in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

Oh, what a God we serve!  Will you serve HIM with your whole heart?  Will you walk in confidence of HIS grace and mercy toward us!  May your week be full of blessings and grace!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power,

 and of love,

and of a sound mind…

…. 9 Who hath saved us,

and called us

with an holy calling,

not according to our works,

but according to his own purpose and grace,

which was given us in Christ Jesus

before the world began,”   2 Timothy 1:7 & 9

Amen and Amen!!!

Faithful Even On 9-11!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #753

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #753  Faithful Even On 9-11!!!

 

I just want to share a word of reflection and encouragement on this 20thanniversary of the disaster of September 11, 2001.  I want to make it simple but hopeful for all who might read this post, that GOD is still GOD, GOD is still good, and I still trust HIM!!!  YOU can too!

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying,

This is the word of the LORD

unto Zerubbabel, saying,

Not by might,

nor by power,

but by my spirit,

saith the LORD of hosts.”  Zechariah 4:6

And what God did, does, and will do to save those who will come unto HIM in repentance and faith in the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice of Jesus for my/our sin!

Moreover, brethren,

I declare unto you the gospel

which I preached unto you,

which also ye have received,

and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved,

if ye keep in memory

what I preached unto you,

unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all

that which I also received,

how that Christ died for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again the third day

according to the scriptures:”   1 Corinthians 15:1-4

And as Paul so aptly reminds us of in his letter to the church at Rome, may we remember that “we love HIM because HE first loved us” (emphasis mine, see 1 John 4:19)!

For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath

through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God

by the death of his Son,

much more, being reconciled,

we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.”   Romans 5:7-11

All because HE loves you and me—no matter the crises!

Not by works of righteousness

which we have done,

but according to his mercy

he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”  Titus 3:5