Saturday, 30 April 2011
Friday, 29 April 2011
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.
This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.
Monday, 25 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
Saturday, 23 April 2011
My King was born King. The Bible says He's a Seven Way King. He's the King of the Jews - that's an Ethnic King. He's the King of Israel - that's a National King. He's the King of righteousness. He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven. He's the King of glory. He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that's my King.
Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don't try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is the only one of whom there are no means of measure that can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of the shore of His supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing. He's enduringly strong. He's entirely sincere. He's eternally steadfast. He's immortally graceful. He's imperially powerful. He's impartially merciful. That's my King.
He's God's Son. He's the sinner's saviour. He's the centrepiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He's honest. He's unique. He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented. He's supreme. He's pre-eminent. He's the grandest idea in literature. He's the highest personality in philosophy. He's the supreme problem in higher criticism. He's the fundamental doctrine of historic theology. He's the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That's my King.
He's the miracle of the age. He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He's the only one able to supply all our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He's available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He's the Almighty God who guides and keeps all his people. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. That's my King.
Do you know Him? Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He's the wellspring of wisdom. He's the doorway of deliverance. He's the pathway of peace. He's the roadway of righteousness. He's the highway of holiness. He's the gateway of glory. He's the master of the mighty. He's the captain of the conquerors. He's the head of the heroes. He's the leader of the legislatures. He's the overseer of the overcomers. He's the governor of governors. He's the prince of princes. He's the King of kings and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King.
His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you . . .but He's indescribable. He's indescribable. That's my King.
He's incomprehensible. He's invincible. He's irresistible. I'm coming to tell you this, that the heavens of heavens can't contain Him, let alone some man explain Him. You can't get Him out of your mind. You can't get Him off of your hands. You can't outlive Him and you can't live without Him. The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him. Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod couldn't kill Him. Death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him. That's my King.
He always has been and He always will be. I'm talking about the fact that He had no predecessor and He'll have no successor. There's nobody before Him and there'll be nobody after Him. You can't impeach Him and He's not going to resign. That's my King! That's my King!
Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We're around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but in the end all that matters is God's power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honour and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the 'ever's, then . . .Amen.
Friday, 22 April 2011
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Monday, 18 April 2011
Sunday, 17 April 2011
Saturday, 16 April 2011
A good man delights in walking God's way.
A good man might just fall.
A good man gets back up.
A good man is upheld by God's hand.
Friday, 15 April 2011
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
He will bring it to pass.
Rest in the Lord.
Wait patiently for Him.
Don't fret at what you see.
Monday, 11 April 2011
He will bring it to pass.
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Saturday, 9 April 2011
Friday, 8 April 2011
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. - Psalm 33v17
People and their nations trust all kinds of thing for their safety. For example, part of the reason for the US Constitution, according to its preamble, was to 'provide for the common defence.' All nations have military or national defence forces. We have police departments and fire departments to keep us safe. We elect government officials to make decisions that are supposed to be for the public good.
Human protection and safety provisions are fine. They are fine and there is nothing wrong with them. God put government is place for the very purpose of doing some of these things.
The 'horse' is a vain hope for safety. It cannot deliver by its great strength. It doesn't take much to realise that the horse is a picture of military or policing might.
Because of the relative peace and security that Christians in the West have had for the last couple of hundreds of years we have come to think that the government and it's 'horses' should be on our side. We expect the government to protect and defend our Christian way of life and principles. We expect legislation to enforce our way of life.
Things are changing quickly in the West. We had better get used to it. Our faith cannot be in our government or its leaders to defend or protect us and our way of life. Society now seems intent on going against Christian principles and those who hold to them are mocked, deprived of rights, and in the very near future may face imprisonment.
The sooner we realise that our confidence in horses is misplaced the better. The time has come to quit trusting in 'vain hope' for safety and start trusting the One who can protect us.
Monday, 4 April 2011
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. - Psalm 33v10
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Thus wrote Robert Burns in his classic poem, 'To a Mouse.' The poem is, in essence, about the vanity of effort. Everything the mouse does seems to be at the capricious whim of fate and nature.
But, as Burns points out, that doesn't just apply to the mouse. We set out all of our great plans and ambitions and we set our own goals and set about achieving them without ever thinking about what God might want.
We don't always ignore God in our plans though. Sometimes we make plans with the best at heart and a desire to do the right thing.
I have learned though that a lot of times God's plans are not our plans. Even, as Burns wrote, the best laid plans are often doomed to go askew. Things don't often work out the way we planned them.
The difference between what Burns wrote and the Christian life is that we still have that hope of he 'promised joy' one day. Though we may go through grief and pain to get there, and our own foresight may be in vain, we have the blessed hope of eternal joy.
After all, are the best laid plans of the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal, and immutable God certain to be far better than the best laid plans of mice and men?
For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth. - Psalm 33v4
How do we know right from wrong? That is a question we all wonder about at times. With the information superhighway running through our homes and offices and even telephones we are inundated with more potential knowledge than we ever thought possible. Millions of facts are at our fingertips. 'Google it' has become the keyword for anyone looking for anything. My wife teases me that the only reason I bought an iPhone was so that I could Google it to see if something that some one told me was right or wrong.
The problem there is that obviously one 'can't believe everything you see on the internet.' Sources can be and are sometimes just flat out wrong. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not, but one thing is sure – just because it is on the internet does not make it right.
I love Googling. I love the ability to find answers on the spot, but I know that I have to be careful when trying to find right and wrong on line.
There is however one place that we can be assured that we will always get the right answer. 'The word of the Lord is right.' God's word is not some Wikipedia where anyone can put something up and claim it as fact. It cannot be edited and it does not need a 'citation needed' disclaimer.
The Bible is right. Whatever God does in done in truth because He is the Truth.
If we can turn 'Google' from a noun into a verb maybe we can do the same with the word of God.
Want to know if it is right or wrong? Want to know how to handle the situation you are facing today?
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. - Psalm 32v9
They say that sheep are dumb animals, but this verse mentions a couple of animals that might be even dumber and warns against following their example.
'Don't be like a horse or a mule. They have no understanding and must constantly be led about with a bit and a bridle. They won't follow you unless you drag them to you.'
Sheep are different. At least they have the sense to know that their shepherd loves them and cares for them so they know enough to follow the shepherd.
How often we can be like that dumb mule talked about in the verse. We get set in our own way. We are kind of like a mule that is sitting on a railroad track with a train approaching and its owner trying to pull him out of danger. The mule is too dumb to know that his owner knows best.
How dumb I can be. I can be so set in my ways that I hunker down and insist that my way and my solutions must be the best way.
So, how about it. How often are we even dumber than dumb sheep?
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD. - Psalm 31v24
When our children are little we often have to encourage them to 'be brave' when they face situations that are scary to them. They are afraid because they don't is going to happen next. They face uncertainty. Uncertainty, by the very nature of what it is, is scary.
The bad thing is that that fear of the unknown never leaves us. At lot of times it is not as bad as we think it is going to be, but the reality is that sometimes it is so much worse that we expected.
My Valley of Vision reading for this morning was titled 'Year's End.' I just read them consequentially so often the title does not necessarily fit the day, but today was just right for me. It dealt with a new calendar year ahead, but it fits any time, especially when we don't know what is coming next.
'I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead;
If thou hast appointed me storms of of tribulation, thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation, I shall not drown;
If I am to die, I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot, grant me the grace that I fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love, I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial, as a chosen vessel always meet for thy use.'
Even as I type those words I can feel that anxious feeling in my gut. These are scary words to put down on paper. They are words that I don't really know whether I can say or not. They are words that I really don't want to deal with.
Why? Because they make me afraid. It is scary to pray that sort of prayer.
But God says, like a loving parent, 'Be of good courage.' He will give us the strength we need to face every situation. If we really trust Him like we say we do we can pray those words above because our confidence to get through the unknown is on Him, not us.
'Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the the future. I can face uncertain days, because He lives.'
It sounds great. It makes a lovely song. But do we have the faith to really believe it?
Friday, 1 April 2011
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. - Psalm 31v9-10
One of the things that I really like about the Bible is the way it addresses real feelings and real situations in a way we can all understand.
David found in a time of great trouble. Though our reasons may be very different we all find ourselves in situations where we seem consumed with various troubles may be emotional, physical, spiritual, familial, or financial. The cause does not matter, but I think we can all identify with 'I am in trouble. Grief consumes my eyes and soul and body and indeed my life. I spend all my time sighing...'
You know what those sighing times are are. Those are the moments or days or weeks when we start thinking about circumstances, we rub our hands across our faces, and we let out a sigh that verges on frustration, despair, pain, or discouragement.
Scientists seem to differ on what physically cause this kind of sigh. There seems to be some agreement that there is a relation between stress and involuntary sighing. We may be a need to draw in extra oxygen to relieve a build-up of C02 which has built up do over breathing. Think of that tight chested, 'I can't breath' feeling that comes with stress. Our body senses that and draws in an extra deep breath to battle it.
Troubles are sure to bring about stress. People have all kinds of way to deal with stress. Some just give up and crawl back under the duvet. Some become angry with others. Some become morose and useless. Some try to get busy. Some just quit.
The psalmist had an answer to the sighing days. 'Have mercy on me O Lord.'
A dependence on God's mercy is the only real solution to troublesome days. May each of us exercise the faith in God's mercy in times of stress and despair.