Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dark Clouds Hovering Over

O. T. #1244  "Dark Clouds Hovering Over"
July 19, 2018
Psalm 50-Part 2
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on Me when you are in trouble, and  I will rescue you, and will give Me glorify.
Psalm 50:14-15 NLT

LET IT GLOW

What can we thank God for today? For me, I am so very grateful for the much needed rain showers we received last night and early this morning. Our yard was yellow with crunchy grass in places. God answered my prayers, and probably others, too. The thing is, dark clouds hovered over us, then passed by earlier this week, giving rain to areas around us, just not our farm and town. Was it a testing of faith?
Do you have dark clouds hovering over you today? Continue reading and find out what we can do on our part.

When we reach a point of need, where do we turn? God allows us to get to that point for a reason. He is ready and able to rescue us. When we call upon our God and trust Him deliver us, we are showing a watching world how He makes a difference in the lives of His children. If we don't turn to God, then we prevent people the opportunity of seeing God's provision in a Christian's life.

So why do we not turn to God during our distress? It can be due to our pride, self-sufficient attitude, thinking we can handle it our self by using our own resources, wisdom, and hard work. Friends, pride robs God from being given glory and seeks to give it to us. We are taking what rightfully belongs to God-glory. I had not thought of it that way before now. Shall we call upon our Lord and wait exclusively upon God to rescue us. So the next time we find that we are in distress, turn to God first. He promises to rescue us. (Give Him thanks and keep our vows.)
[These thoughts were taken from Henry and Richard Blackaby's devotional book, Experiencing God Day-by-Day.

LET IT GROW

Verse 23 KJV says, Whoso offereth praise glorifieth  Me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.

In the Hebrew language, the word conversation refers to a road (as trodden); a course of life or mode of action; journey; manner; path; way.

Giving thanks to God is a sacrifice that truly honors Him. If we stay on God's path for our life, He will bless us with God's salvation, which means liberty, deliverance, prosperity, safety, saving.

Did you notice the giving of thanks occurred before the deliverance or prosperity? Before we receive anything, we are instructed to thank God.
Can we thank Him for what He is doing or going to do?
Can we glorify Him in our circumstance? What about if He choses to come through in a different way than we prefer? Or what if God ultimately heals by taking our loved one home to heaven? Will we still thank Him?

LET IT GO

Give God thanks now before He does it and afterwards.
Trust Him always.
Jesus, Your grace is sufficient for me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Going Through the Motion of Devotion

O. T. #1243  "Going Through the Motion of Devotion"
July 18, 2018
Psalm 50
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High. And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.  Psalm 50:14-15

LET IT GLOW

Is this your day of trouble? Anyone need delivering in your day of trouble? We can have it. god tells us how in this chapter. Read on, friend.

Asaph was a musician appointed by David to preside over the sacred choral services of Israel (1 Chron. 16:5). He was a poet and wrote 12 psalms, this being the first. (His descendants probably wrote some after his death.) Falwell

First of all, Asaph describes God as:
  • Mighty God-el in the Hebrew language means strength, power, goodly, great, Almighty God is El Shaddai, the God who is Self-sufficient and supplies my need; Self-existent One;
  • speaking, He summons all humanity;
  • perfection of beauty; (verse 2)
  • shining in glorious radiance;
  • approaches and is not silent; (verse 3)
  • being surrounded by flames and hurricanes, His attendants;
  • Judge who pronounces sentence; (verse 4)
  • Righteousness, the right, just; (verse 6)
  • speaking and testifying that I am God, even thy God; (verse 7)
Are we praising God for who He is? Reading the list is why we can be still and know He is God. He would not be God if He were anything less, would He?
Along with His mightiness, god is loving, compassionate, merciful to us sinners. What an Amazing God and Awesome God we serve!

LET IT GROW

The penalty of sin is death. Sin must be paid for. During the OT times, a sacrificial animal which met the requirements of purity were acceptable to God, being a substitute for the person. It symbolized faith in God to forgive and show mercy. However, those sacrifices became a ritual. Their hearts were not in it. Israel was going through the motions of devotion. They were not obediently following God's laws and living righteously.

Have you ever asked what is pleasing and acceptable to God? We can find the answer here:
  1. It is the sacrifice of a heart devoted to God. Instead of the outward sacrifices, God wants us, our love and devotion.
  2. It is the sacrifice of thanksgiving that He desires from us. (verse 14) 
  3. He wants us to keep the vows we made to Him.
  4. He desires praise that glorifies Him.
We must put our sacrifice of praise in the hands of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who presents it to God. Jesus is our Sacrificial Lamb of God that takes away our sins.
Did you notice what happens in our key verse whenever we give thanksgiving unto God as a sacrifice, as well as keep our vows to Him? He will deliver us in our day of trouble as we call upon Him. Wow!

Are we surrendered to God, to do His will, His way?
Are we thankful for what God does for us?
Does God have our heart, our whole heart?
Is He our first love?
Do we thank and praise Him through out the day?
Ouch.

LET IT GO

Almighty God, You are so loving and kind. Thank You for Your mercy toward this sinner. Thank You for all You give and do for me. I praise You sweet Jesus, for Your sacrifice for me. Help me to keep my vows made to You. Help me to stop going through the motion of devotion. In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wealth or Wisdom

O. T. #1242  "Wealth or Wisdom"
July 17, 2018
Psalm 49

LET IT GLOW

This is one of the Wisdom Psalms. If we want to be wise, we should seek God's wisdom and ask for it, then we will receive it. We recognize the book of Proverbs as having wisdom for us, but what wisdom does this chapter have to share with us?
  1. Money buys lots of things, but it cannot buy an extension on life or eternal life.
  2. Our faith should be placed in God and not riches, so we do not fear evil.
  3. The wealthy cannot redeem themselves, for God has provided redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. A ransom paid can never be large enough of a sufficient amount. (verses 7-9)
  4. Everyone will eventually die, both the rich and poor of this world.
  5. We leave it all behind when we leave this world. We brought nothing in and we take nothing out, materially speaking.
  6. Our investments in earthly riches made here will only be left to those inheriting them. When Death summons the wealthy, they must leave behind stocks, shares, gold, jewels, and material possessions. However, our investments made in kingdom work, obedience, and resources used, faith in God and loving Him will be our treasures in heaven. Those will be lasting.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God. His Word has a wealth of wisdom available for us to obtain. Just seek it.

LET IT GROW

Is our goal to be admired? Do we need the best and most of things to be admired by others? Or are we striving to please God? Is it wisdom or wealth that we seek? Does our happiness come from trusting in our money or in our God?

Paul gave Timothy some wisdom, found in 1 Timothy 6:9-11,
But those who would be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.

We may not be a wealthy millionaire in this world, but we can be one in heaven.
Here are some verses concerning treasures: Matthew chapter 6, 12:35; 13:44 and Colossians 2:2-3.

LET IT GO

Spend my time and efforts seeking God's wisdom instead of the world's wealth.
Be thankful for what I have materially and spiritually.
Seek God's admiration and not the admiration of people.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Unfailing Love

O. T. #1241  "Unfailing Love"
July 16, 2018
Psalm 48


LET IT GLOW

Where can we go for unfailing live?  People fail us and we fail people. But there is One who will always love us. That is good news.

Mt. Zion is in reference to the city of Jerusalem, which was located upon one of the hills of Judea. In that city God was worshiped and praised. The author, whether King David or another, says in verses 9-10:
O God, we meditate on Your unfailing love as we worship in Your Temple. As Your name deserves, O God, You will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand filled with victory.

Jerusalem,. and the Temple, were considered to be the place of God's presence in the world. Revelation 21 speaks of the New Jerusalem. Instead of going up to the Temple to meet with God, He will come down to be among us. God became a man, Jesus Christ, and came down to live among us (John 1:14). Wherever God reigns, there is peace, security, and love. His presence, protection, and love to His people was in Jerusalem.

Do we meditate on God's unfailing love? It is always there ready to fill us.

LET IT GROW

In verses 13 and 14, Israel was told to pass on this blessing to future generations.
For God is our God forever. He will be our guide even unto death. Guide is lead, carry away, to drive away. 

LET IT GO

Thank You Lord for Your unfailing love.
Guide me today Jesus.
Help me share Your love with others that I meet today.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Clapping and Shouting

O. T. #1240  "Clapping and Shouting"
Psalm 47
July 12, 2018
Clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with a voice of triumph.  Psalm 47:1

LET IT GLOW

This week I have been teaching the first and second graders in Vacation Bible School. We have had around 9 and less in my class. Last night, I was blessed. One of the girls asked Jesus to forgive her sins and be her Savior. It was after I demonstrated a prayer. I knew it was the Lord's timing and His doing, for what children would immediately say she wanted to say it? Now that causes me to want to shout to the Lord and clap for His working! (She is one who attends our church.)

Again, this is a song that the sons of Korah, Levitical musicians of Israel, sang for the congregation. It is thought to have been written on the occasion of the removal of the ark to Mount Zion in 2 Samuel 6,. Also, the prophecy of the ascension of Christ, His kingly rule, and His majestic place on the right hand of the Father. (Falwell)

What is happening in this short chapter?
  • Honor God by joyfully praising Him by clapping hands and shouting about His victory.
  • The Lord Most High is described as terrible, which means to revere; reverence. Our victorious God is so awesome. 
  • He is King over all the earth, not just over Israel.
  • He chose the Promised Land for His beloved people, Israel. One day we will join together in songs of praise in our Promised Land called heaven.
  • God is highly honored everywhere.
How awesome and glorious is our God! He heals us, forgives us our sins, changes hearts, and provides for us. He is to be praised above all.

LET IT GROW

Five times the whole earth is called upon to sing praises to God. He is our song, our hope of eternal life, the one in whom we can count on, our trust, and our God of mercy and lovingkindness. 
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Holy is He. Sing a new song, to Him who sits on heavens mercy seat, as the song goes. Praise to the King of kings. And I well adore You. He was, is, and is to come. Is Jesus our everything? With all creation, will we sing His praises? The birds do, the cows moo.

LET IT GO

Show my reverence to God with songs of praise.
Clap and shout His praises.
Give Jesus glory.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Be Still


O. T. #1239  "Be Still"
July 11, 2018
Psalm 46-Part 3
Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Psalm 46:10-11

LET IT GLOW

Rules, performance, expectations, pressures, deadlines-they will eventually wear us down. In our world, we find acceptance when we fit in, look and act like those on top. Eventually, we fall short, can't keep up, can't keep going on this fast pace spinning us around. What do we do when we drop the ball? How can we help others when our own world is falling apart?

Sure our mind tells us God is in control, yet our heart has us dangling from a shoestring of faith. The answers we need is found in our key verse:

1. Be still.
Who has 20 minutes to be still in this fast pace life? I know, dear one, I have been there. I finally decided before getting into the rat race, I would be still in Bible study. (Thank you friends for joining me.) However, others are not on this road of faith. Now, there is a difference in the "meditation" that is popular. Theirs opens up the mind to blankness, allowing the devil access. That is not what I am talking about. Find a quiet place in your house, assign it to be your quiet place, for however long you can remain there. Come away, alone with God.
I pray before I get out of bed. Then I listen to praise music before Bible study. However you do it is fine, just do it.

2. Know that He is God.
 Now that we have physically come away, let us do so spiritually. Reverently honor God, exalting Him as your Creator, Savior, King and Lord, the One in charge, all wise, all powerful, merciful and gracious, loving and faithful, and peace and comfort. We can sing praises, quote scriptures, sit quietly, or cry pouring out our heart to Him.
(That takes our focus off us and our problems and puts it on God.) Know Him in our heart, not just our mind.
I like the song that says, In Christ along our hope is found."  Folks, He is our refuge and strength to go on and meet today's challenges.

Will we be still and know He is God? Jesus loves you and me. Be calm and pray, as my pillow says..

LET IT GROW

What is God telling us in the rest of verse 10 and 11?
1. He will be exalted among the heathen.
Heathen can be a foreign nation, a Gentile, people.
Although people set themselves up, have their own will and way, God will ultimately have His will and way, receiving glory for it.

2. He will be exalted in the earth.
God will receive glory, exalted above all. Creation honors Him.

3. The LORD of Hosts is with us.
He is on our side. No need to fear. We are not alone in this.

4. The God of Jacob is our refuge.
He is the answer. Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life. We can trust in Him, as well as put our hope in Him. May it be said of us, "Through it all they trusted Jesus." Is it will with our soul?


LET IT GO

Be still and know He is God.
Exalt Jesus.
Place my hope and trust in Jesus today.
Through it all...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

He Has This

O. T. #1238  "He Has This"
July 10, 2018
Psalm 46-Part 2
Therefore, we will not fear...    Psalm 46:2

LET IT GLOW

Worry, worry, worry. It can drive us crazy. We can become fearful. What happened when Israel faced 185,000 armed enemies? What about us? What can we do in our time of trouble? Are we fearing the future?

To be honest, I had forgotten verse 1 in our chapter, so I wrote it on a green index card and have it visible on my desk now. Like King Hezekiah back in 701 B.C., there are times that I need God to be my shelter, hope, trust (refuge) when the enemy comes on strong against me (Jesus killed 185,000 Assyrians for Israel). And when I am weak, Jesus is my strength-security, majesty, boldness, power.

Look at verse 2. Regardless of the situation around Israel, whatever violent disturbances Israel may encounter, God was in her midst. With that reassurance, Israel would not fear:
  • earthquakes,
  • crumbling mountains into the sea,
  • roaring and foaming seas.
Although people experience those things in our nation, we may experience personally similar results. Our world my be shaken up with disease, divorce, death. We may feel like our world is crumbling and falling apart around us. We may loose our job, have a rebellious child, an aging parent. Then again, we may feel like we are drowning in the see of life. Responsibilities, relationships, and finances could be over our head. Despair. Where do we turn? Turn to Jesus, pray, forgive one more time.

LET IT GROW

How was Israel able to have those reassurances without fear? Verses 2-9 tell us:
  • A river brings joy to the city of our God (Jerusalem), the sacred home of the Most High.
  • God dwells in that city.
  • It cannot be destroyed.
  • God will protect it.
  • The Lord of Heaven's Armies is here among us.
  • The God of Israel is our fortress (refuge).
  • He brings destruction upon the world.
  • See His glorious works.
  • He causes war to end by breaking the bows, snapping the spears, and burning the shields.

So God fights our battles. There is power in the name of Jesus. Since God is for us, who can be against us? Keep walking by faith in the One who created those mountains and seas.
What is our lesson for today?  Let God be our strength and refuge and help. He is our present help. Jesus never leaves us nor forsakes us.

LET IT GO

Do not fear, Almighty God has this.
Lay down my burdens at the feet of Jesus.
Trust Him to work it out.