Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Thousand Praises

Read: Psalm 136

Psalm 136:1 – O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
Here on earth, change is inevitable. Nothing seems stable. Nothing is sure. Nations rise and fall. Earthquakes and tsunamis rift the geological landscape. In an instant, the economy rises and falls. The instability can be nerve wrecking; we can’t even keep up with the formation of new diseases. There is much to worry about, and fears are everywhere.

Yet, many things remain constant. Every morning the sun rises, and sets in the evening. The rivers continually flow into the sea; the flowers bloom, and the bird sings. Movable only by God’s word, the heavens and the earth remains.

In a world of nerve wrecking shifts, the believer is assured in an unchanging God. He is ever the same. His goodness and mercy endures forever. In God, we have freedom of mind to continually rejoice, and inner peace to be faithful.

Therefore, the believer always has a praise, in good and bad times a reason to rejoice. Yes, we have a thousand praises.

Let the worries and doubts flee away. Let joy and boldness fill our hearts. Let the light of Christ shine through us. For our God is mighty. For we will praise Him for his creative acts. We will praise Him for His redemptive work. We will praise Him for His providence.

Moreover, only the heart knows and understands the depth of grace God has shown to you and me. So much to thank Him for, a thousand praises and more!

 

The Rock that Follows Us

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
I Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

After the people of Israel was delivered from Egypt and was traveling through the desert, God occasionally used a rock to provide water for them. The Bible makes two specific references of the children of Israel drinking from a rock. The first time was at Rephidim (Exodus 17); the Israelites murmured because there was no water to drink. Moses cried to God about the problem, and the Lord told him to smite the rock. Upon striking the rock, water came out, and the people were able to drink. Another time was in the desert of Sin (Numbers 20); again, there was no water and the people of Israel complained to Moses. God told Moses to speak to the rock, but in anger Moses struck the rock; still, the water came out, and the people’s thirst was quenched. In both cases, when Israel needed water for their survival, God brought the water through a rock.
Paul in I Corinthians 10:4 tells us that the rock Israel drank from was a figure of Christ. Christ the Rock was following Israel and providing the sustenance they needed to live. Moses understanding this, and speaking of God said: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect”. A rock can be a symbol of security, stability, safety, shelter and protection. Especially in the Bible days, a rock was seen as a place of shelter, where one could hide from an enemy, and as a foundation upon which anyone could build a strong house. Thus, we understand that God the Rock was following Israel and preserving their lives.

In like manner, Christ our Rock keeps us. In reflection, I recognize many times in my own life when I should have failed, when things should have fallen apart, when it seemed like there was no way out of a problem. How did I survive and overcome these situations? I come to the conclusion that the Rock, Christ Jesus, was with me through them all. When I needed shelter, when I needed help, when I became thirsty, Christ the Rock was there with me, keeping me from falling, sheltering me from from my enemies, and providing for every need. The pressures of life need not pull us under, and the insecurities of this world need not cause us to falter for Christ the solid Rock is always with us.

“Lord thank you for guiding me, and providing for me throughout the phases of my life. You are my Rock. Your ways are perfect. I will walk with you, doing your will, and knowing that with you I will always be content and secure”

The Jealous God

Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV) For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Jealousy is an emotion that everyone has experienced. There are different aspects of it. Jealousy can be a result of covetousness, desiring things that belong to others. We are also aware of the form of jealousy which is simply based on mistrust, and unfounded suspicion. Since the above scripture describes God as a jealous God, what form of jealousy does God have over us.
Certainly God cannot be accused of covetousness, since he owns all things. In addition, God is omniscient, knowing all things, so he has no need to be suspicious. Furthermore, God gave up his only Son, Jesus Christ, so that through his death we may have life. Thus, certainly we see that God was willing to give up all for the sake of others.

So Why is God jealous? God wants the love and attention we give him to be exclusive, shared with no one and nothing else. He desires our full and complete devotion. Doesn’t he deserve it? Yes, God’s jealousy is reasonable, since he alone is God. His power, glory, holiness love, mercy, and kindness are beyond any other; in short, there is no one like God. God loves us completely. His love for us supersedes all other. Therefore, God wants everything that is in us. Let us allow the fire of his presence to consume us.

Heavenly Father saturate my mind, soul, and spirit with your presence. Everything that is in me belongs to you. I am yours. Give me an undivided heart, one that is devoted only to you, for you alone are God.

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