Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fixed on God

"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! "
Psalm 57:7

There is boundless joy that comes from a heart that is steadfast, fully fixed on God. To have the calm assurance that He is trustworthy. That He is good. All the time. The great hymn writers of the past knew it. Their songs ring out with praise. "It Is Well With My Soul", "What a Friend We Have in Jesus",  and,  "Like a River Glorious":

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
Frances R. Havergal, 1876
Public Domain

Let the phrases of that wonderful song fill your heart and mind today, and lift them up to God in praise.

Friday, August 19, 2011

He Holds Your Hand

"The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand." 
Psalm 37:23-24

Sometimes the path of our life is filled with obstructions that threaten our stability, sometimes causing us to stumble. But always, the Lord keeps us from falling flat on our faces. His steady hand holds us fast. His word reminds us that not one of those obstacles is a surprise to Him. Before we were born He had established the steps we would take and had seen each hardship we would encounter. He delights in the way we are going because He planned it long ago and He knows the reward that waits for us at the end of our walk. If you are treading a bumpy path today, remember that you are not walking alone. The Lord is walking with you and He is intimately familiar with the trail. Your hand is in His hand and He will lead you safely home. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No More Identity Crisis

"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
Genesis 1:27

Man and woman were created in God's image, possessing characteristics that are also found in Him. We have a spiritual dimension, an intellectual dimension, a moral dimension and a social dimension. Through these four dimensions we were meant to reflect God's glory. His greatness. Sin has marred God's image in all these areas, robbing us of the perfect reflection that God intended and thus robbing God of His glory. In turn, it creates in us a kind of identity crisis. But God's grace provided a remedy for this crisis. Through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, God redeems us and makes us new. A “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).  "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Through Christ, God gives us a new identify and we begin to once more reflect His glory. Our identify crisis is over. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Missing God's Best

"By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going."
Hebrews 11:8

What if Abraham had not obeyed God? What if he had refused to leave everything familiar to him -- home, family, lifestyle? We can only speculate what would have become of Abraham if he had said "no" when God said "go", but most likely God would have chosen someone else to be the father of a great nation. Abraham would have missed God's best for himself. Not all of us, like Abraham, are called by God to go to a strange land. Sometimes He calls us just to go across the street, yet we say "no". "No, Lord, I'm too busy right now. I'll go later." Maybe there's nothing across the street that God wants us to do at that moment except just go there. Maybe it's just a step of obedience He wants from us. But maybe, just maybe, there  is something more. And by not saying "Yes, Lord, I'll go right now", we miss God's best for us. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Firm Foundation

"Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.'" 
2 Timothy 2:19

Here we find Paul writing to Timothy about the false teachers in the Corinthian church, two men who were upsetting the congregation with their errant words. I imagine Paul pouring out his anguished heart to his younger friend on parchment. Then, the apostle stops, reflects on the deeper truth of the matter and adds, "Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,'”  Paul’s words must be our words in these days when so many people around us are falling away from the truth. Christ established the Church, and with Him as its foundation it will continue forward as it has continued to this point. Though it may come down to a small remnant, still it will survive. The Lord knows who belongs to Him. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me," (John 10:14). He also said there would be those who claim to know Him, but in reality they have no relationship with Him (Matthew 7:22-23).

 "People talk about looking into themselves for evidences of their being ‘saved,’ as they say. I would rather take your neighbour’s opinion as to whether you are saved or not than yours; and you will be far more likely to come to the possession of calm assurance that you do belong to Jesus Christ, if your assurance is based upon this, ‘I am living as He would have me to do.’ That is the infallible sign that you are His." -- Alexander MacLaren

Monday, August 15, 2011

God's Gift of Visual Delights

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; 
Sing praises to our God on the lyre, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains."
Psalm 147:7-8

Do you like to window shop? I do. I like to stroll past stores and look at the various window displays. No matter how beautiful they may be, though, displays in merchant windows cannot begin to compare with God's heavenly production. After the rain last night, the sky burst forth with His glory. He dipped His artist's brush in His marvelous pallet and painted an extraordinarily beautiful scene. It is enough that the Lord waters the earth and causes the grass to grow on our mountain. But I love the fact that God doesn't stop there. He blesses us with visual delights, too. What visual delight has God given you lately?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weary Souls Restored

“He restores my soul.”
Psalm 23:3

There is a beautiful restoration that comes to our weary souls when we cling to Jesus. The same loving arms that stretched out on the cross to save our souls, now stretch out to pull us close. Safe in His arms the clamor and clatter of the world is shut out and we enjoy sweet communion with our Savior.  He whispers our name and reminds us that we belong to Him. When we are weak, He is strong. 
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