Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sing Praises to His Name

"Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely."
Psalm 135:3

One of my favorite flowers is the rose. Even wild roses make me smile. Jesus is called "The Rose of Sharon" and He makes me smile much more than the roses do.  Following are only a few of the names for Jesus we find in the Bible. Do you have a favorite from this list?

1. Advocate (1 john 2:1)
2. Lamb of God (John 1:29)
3. The Resurrection & the Life (John 11:25)
4. Shepherd & Bishop of Souls (1 Peter 2:25)
5. Judge (Acts 10:42)
6. Lord of Lords (1 timothy 6:15)
7. Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)
8. Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23)
9. Master (Matthew 8:19)
10. Faithful & True Witness (Revelation 3:14)
11. Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4)
12. High Priest (Hebrews 6:20)
13. The Door (John 10:9)
14. Living Water (John 4:10)
15. Bread of Life (John 6:35)
16. Rose of Sharon (Song of Solomon 2:1)
17. Alpha & Omega (revelation 22:13)
18. True Vine (John 15:1)
19. Messiah (Daniel 9:25)
20. Teacher (John 3:2)
21. Holy One (Mark 1:24)
22. Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5)
23. The Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)
24. Branch (Isaiah 11:1)
25. Carpenter (Mark 6:3)
26. Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
27. Light of the World (John 8:12)
28. Image of the Invisible God (Colossians 1:15)
29. The Word (John 1:1)
30. Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20)
31. Savior (John 4:42)
32. Servant (Matthew 12:18)
33. Author & Finisher of Our Faith (Hebrews 12:2)
34. The Almighty (Revelation 1:8)
35. Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
36. Shiloh (Genesis 49:10)
37. Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
38. I Am (John 8:58
39. King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15)
40. Bridegroom (Matthew 9:15)
41. Only Begotten Son (John 3:16)
42. Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
43. Immanuel (Matthew 1:23)
44. Son of Man (Matthew 20:28)
45. Dayspring (Luke 1:78)
46. The Amen (Revelation 3:14)
47. King of the Jews (Mark 15:26)
48. Prophet (Matthew 21:11)
49. Redeemer (Job 19:25)
50. Anchor (Hebrews 6:19)
51. Bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)
52. The Way, the Truth, & the Life (John 14:6)
53. Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Open Our Eyes

They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 
Matthew 20:33

Two blind men call out to Jesus for healing. They are societal outcasts. Marginalized. Despised perhaps. They hear that Jesus is coming and they cry out to Him. He asks what He can do for them and they tell Him what they want. They want their "eyes to be opened." Jesus responds with compassion and gives them sight. He opens their eyes so they can see and they respond by immediately following Him. Jesus opens up the eyes of the spiritually blind, too. When we come to Him in our broken state, longing to come out of the darkness, He compassionately receives us and opens our eyes to the light of new life in Him. We follow Him because, frankly, where else would we go? There is no one who loves us more.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me . . .
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Praying in the Spirit

"With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit,"
Ephesians 6:18

When we walk with Jesus, we walk in the knowledge that His spirit lives within us and His spirit is constantly speaking to our spirit. If we are listening we will know how to pray. For He will bring to mind those things we ought to pray about. "In the Spirit; for true prayer is spiritual, and it is not true prayer unless by the Holy Spirit the heart is filled with heavenward longings and aspirations, changing our prayer from cold form to heartfelt realities. The ordinary habit of the soul should be prayerful, realizing the presence of God and looking for his grace and guidance. And watching thereunto; that is, 'towards' spirituality, against formality, as also against forgetfulness and neglect of prayer. Perhaps also the idea of watching for the answer is involved, as you wait for an answer when you have dispatched a letter." (The Pulpit Commentary: New Testament; Old Testament; Ages Software)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Broken Bands

"He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death
And broke their bands apart."
Psalm 107:14

Does this scripture speak to you? Do you see yourself as one who was brought out of darkness and the shadow of death by the Lord? Were there bands of sin around your hands and feet that He broke apart? I know this is true for me. I was lost, but now I'm found. Was blind but now I see. The worst part of being in bondage for me was that I didn't see it. Only until God opened my eyes and  I came out of the darkness into His marvelous light of truth did I realize how imprisoned I was. I never want to go back there. Thank God I don't have to. He has broken the bands apart. I'm free!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Fellowship of Saints

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You.”
As for the saints who are in the earth,
They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.
Psalm 16:2-3

Yesterday I finished a 7-week Bible study with a group of women.  The leader hosted a delicious brunch, and as we enjoyed each other's company I thought of how blessed I am to have become acquainted with these lovely daughters of God. They are His "saints who are in the earth". The "majestic (i.e. "holy") ones" in whom I delight. They are holy with Christ's righteousness, and not their own. (Same goes for me.) When we enter into fellowship with God's saints we enter into fellowship with the Lord Himself (Matthew 18:20). His spirit lives in each one of us who call Him God and Father and there is a kinship among us that goes far beyond the bounds of this earth. Praise God!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Trust in God Only

"Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him."
Genesis 40:23

While in prison (wrongfully so), Joseph interpreted the dream of a fellow prisoner, Pharoah's cupbearer. In three days the cupbearer would be restored to his former position to Pharoah. The scriptures tell us that Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him to Pharoah for his correct dream interpretation. (Sort of like a personal recommendation.) You would think that the cupbearer would remember the young man and mention him to Pharoah, but in fact he forgot Joseph. In fact, it wasn't until two "full years" later that the cupbearer brought up Joseph to Pharoah; when the ruler was searching for someone who could correctly interpret his dream. "Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcoming" (Genesis 41:9). Have you ever put your trust in another human being only to have them disappoint you? This happened to Joseph over and over again. First his brothers, then Potiphar, then the cupbearer. . .poor Joseph. We may learn from Joseph's story that the only one we can truly trust all the time is God Almighty Himself. "Joseph perhaps depended too much upon his interest in the chief butler, and promised himself too much from him; he learned by his disappointment to trust in God only. We cannot expect too little from man nor too much from God." (Matthew Henry)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Compassionate Father

"Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him."
Psalm 103:13

A loving father will comfort his children when they are sad, encourage them when they are downtrodden, bear with their weaknesses, and patiently train them to do things right. An earthly father may fail sometime in his duties to his children (almost certainly he will), but our loving Heavenly Father will never fail. Never. To all those who revere Him and call Him "Father" He shows Himself faithful. "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are." (1 John 3:1)
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