Saturday, July 21, 2007

Psalm 101, Verses 1-2

1 A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. 2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

God is a God of mercy and judgment. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in their over emphasis of tithes and gifts when he said, “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Luke 11:42 Here he shows that God is a loving God showing mercy to those who seek it with a humble heart as well as to those who show mercy themselves as Jesus said in Matthew 5: 7, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” James also wrote the following in James 2:13, “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” But judgment is also the other side of God. Read what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

David also said he would sing of mercy and judgment “unto thee, O LORD.” Christian songs need to be those that glorify God and tell of his grace. They should have a clear message and one should not have to guess who the artist is singing about or to. I’m afraid in much of the genres of “Christian” music today that’s not the case. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16 The word “admonishing” or “admonish” means “to caution or reprove” or to warn. We sing songs to the Lord glorifying Him but we also sing to others, telling of his grace and his judgment that will come upon the earth.

2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

Our behavior is important. How we behave reflects our testimony as a Christian. Many times we become flippant and sensual attitudes and actions are displayed before we realize and our testimony is jeopardized. Paul told the young evangelist Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 Men did not despise Timothy’s youth if he were an example of the things that Paul mentioned, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. David “behaved himself wisely” when he was among the soldiers of King Saul and therefore Saul could not find anything against him. Many times the church suffers reproach but that reproach is brought on by us and not always the Lord in that our actions are not in agreement to God’s Word. The Lord uses men to punish as we read in Psalm 17:13b, “deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:”

Then he asks the question, “O when wilt thou come unto me?” Do we desire God’s presence in our lives? Do we hunger after his word and spirit or is our desires really in another area or our life? I will tell you that you must continually stir yourself up by praying, fasting, and reading his Word or the devil will be sure to get you cooled off in Christ. It is a constant battle and we will never fully win until we are with him in heaven so get with it and press in! Remember what Christ told the thriving church in Ephesus: “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:2-5 I believe that I am correct in saying that the church of Ephesus, although then seemingly a powerhouse for God is no longer. I don’t know about you but this causes me concern. America has lost its first love for the gospel, the church in America has lost its first love for the gospel, and it frightens me to thing that many of us have to. We must go back and “do the first works over again!’

The third thing he says in verse two is that “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” The home seems to be the battleground in America. Almost every day we hear on the news about a killing taking place within a family. The number of families still in their first marriages now are less than 50% of the total households in America. How we act in the home will reflect on how we act in public. How we act with our own reflects on how we fare with God. I know the Jesus said “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:35-36 But here, he was talking about division because of some believing the gospel and some not. He was trying to tell his listeners that the ones who may try to stop them from serving Christ the most would be those of their own family. But if our actions are base and we treat our family with hatred, that’s a different story. “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1 This can apply to men as well. How we act in our homes tells what kind of faith we really have.

Because I try to make these blogs somewhat short, I’ll stop here and will go on next time to verse three.

Harry Potter???

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11

At midnight, Saturday July 21, 2007 the final Harry Potter book was released. People stood in line for hours just to be there when the 12th hour struck so they could get their copy. I hope you weren’t in the line! This book, nor any of the Harry Potter series that have been so widely read and used have no place in the Church of Jesus Christ. We have no fellowship with darkness. One reviewer wrote the following, “Overall, this book was the darkest in series, which makes sense because it's time for the final showdown.” While this is thankfully the last of this series, one wonders what will come next. Titles such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – the latest book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire should be enough to indicate what’s inside.

If you are a disciple of Christ you should not even consider reading such things. Sound old fashioned? Perhaps, but remember this, we make our entrance into heaven not on new ideas and how our world changes but by obeying the Bible, God’s Word. I realize that this is a little scathing but this should be very obvious to a true Bible believing Christian. I wasn’t going to mention this on the blog but God dealt with me to do so as I know the climate of the “church.” I have encountered those who claim to be “Christian” but read this trash! We, has Christians, have NOTHING to do with witchcraft, sorcery, or anything else that is pushed by the devil. This is not the time of reason but a time to obey God’s Word and proclaim his promises for all those who will serve him.

In Psalm 101, David writes the following: “I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.” There are two sides to God, one of mercy, and one of judgment. Which side will you be on?

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21”8 (underline mine)

The apostle Paul writes the following in Galatians: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 19-21 That’s a bad lot and sounds like a pretty unpleasant bunch to be around. So how would you like to be around this group?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 Doesn’t the second group sound better? Then why do some constantly want to read material that flaunts the first when they can have the second? The answer is one of two reasons. They have never really become Christ’s, or they have given back over to the flesh and have lost out with him.

Friend, if you in either of these groups, come to Christ. Give your life to him and he’ll give you that peace that passes all understanding.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

America! America!

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

Oh beautiful, for pilgrims' feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

Oh beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
'Til all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!

Oh beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!
Samuel Ward: From

I love our country. I was born here, grew up here, and will probably die or ascend into heaven (the rapture) from here. My memory stretches back about fifty years to this date and I can’t help seeing what has become of our nation. What was only a whisper and kept in closets for shame is now openly supported and taunted nation wide. But it is not my intent here to show forth our nation’s sins but to exhort those who believe in the power of prayer and who will do so to pray for our nation, not only today on this Independence Day, but on a daily basis.

Pray for our leaders:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 1-4

We should pray for them for the obvious reason stated, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” This means we should pray for them so we can have peace in our streets; peace in our homes; the privilege of free speech, the right to preach and teach the whole Word of God without government harassment or their “framing mischief by a law” “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?” Psalm 94:20

A ruler’s heart can be changed and turned as mentioned in Proverbs 21:1: “ The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” The “rivers of water” mentioned here are small channels of water as used in irrigation which can sometimes be changed with just the moving of dirt with the foot.

Seek the peace of the city:
Jeremiah wrote to those who were in captivity in Babylon the following: “Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. ” Jeremiah 29: 5-6 This is like the first admonition but it is here up to us to try to seek the peace of the city and live peaceable lives. Sometimes, doing the work of God is anything but peaceful in that we fight Satan and his followers but in general terms, we are to live peaceably and treat others as we want them to treat us. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14

Do our best to obey the laws of the land:
We are exhorted to obey the laws that we are under. I feel that this should be done as long as Biblical teachings teach otherwise, but this is rare. An example would be if there was a law forbidding Bible reading, then we would have to stand for Christ and read our Bibles or find another solution. This is my opinion and this also comes with conviction but let me make it very clear that many use the Bible as an excuse to disobey the law when in fact it is not so.

“ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Romans 13:1-4

By reading the above scripture, it should be very clear why we need to pray for our rules. We should pray for the elections that will be coming up in 2008. It is important who will be ruling us. I’m not on a political soap box because right now I don’t know who I’d vote for….it’s more who I wouldn’t. But we, as a church, as a nation, need to pray. We get who we ask for according as to who God ordains. God is the judge but he makes judgment in light of what we are as a nation.

“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” Psalm 75:6-8

One more scripture that many are very familiar with……and it is true!

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14