Archive for July, 2013

God wants to Bless Us, and He is the Blessing.

July 31, 2013

As I have continued to read Psalms 4, I have repeatedly seen that David contrasts the life with God with life without God as preeminent. David talks about his wishes that he expresses to God. David shares his value of having God as the first priority in his life over having the pursuits of this world. Let’s see it.

Psalms 4

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

I will confess that we all have a desire to be prosperous. The question at hand is how do we define prosperity. It appears to me that David defines prosperity as a function of what God provides man and that which cannot be taken away in the face of that which can be taken away or not provided at all. The world is asking who will meet our needs? Who will give us our fill and more? David retorts by saying that may God let the light of His face shine on us. This is a clear reference to Numbers 6 where Jehovah, “the existing One”, desires to have the Israelites associated or connected with Him, where He conveys the priestly blessing to Moses. God desires to reveal who He is and who the people of God are to Him. The same is true for us. While we are looking for prosperity, the greatest riches are found in Jehovah calling us His own. Remember what David said about God in Psalms 3:4 “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.” God wants to bless us, and He is the blessing. 

Next, David’s request is that  Jehovah, “the existing One”, fill his heart with joy while the world, those outside of honoring Jehovah, wants their grain and new wine to abound. Those were signs of blessings as there was sufficient rain to cause the earth to bud and flourish, where their physical needs were amply met. In contrast, David asks God to fill his heart with joy or gladness. There is nothing like the joy of God in one’s life. When God fills our hearts with joy, we are immune to the things that deject and disappoint us in life. Those are numerous. This request is an appeal by David to live above circumstances. He wants a life not built on contingencies. Life is good if … scenarios. He just wants life to be good. With joy in his heart, life is good despite that which may not be pleasant. If you have read the Word of God, we know that there were many circumstances (Saul, Absalom, Uriah, Moabites, the Edomites, the Ammonites and the Arameans, finally pride) where David was challenged to have his heart filled with the joy of the Lord. Despite that, this is a proclamation from God through him that God wants to bless us, and He is the blessing.

Lastly, David prefers the peace and security offered by God rather than riches alone. David says “I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety”. It is God alone that can keep David and us safe. God kept David safe from Saul, Absalom, all the others who pursued him and from himself. Danger comes from many sources, but the greatest beyond evil himself is our own choices. God kept David from them all. God can keep us all from danger. The peace that comes from knowing God will keep us safe allowed David not to have a night where his anxiety prevented him from sleeping in peace as well as living in peace. David attributes that to God alone. David wants us to see that God wants to bless us, and He is the blessing.

Trust the Word of God and be blessed.

 

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Lord hears when I call to Him

July 30, 2013

In the post Confidence in the Face of Fear, confidence surfaces when we are trusting in who God is and what God can do. As we do, we experience great peace and confidence in the face of weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. As I began reading this morning to hear from the Lord, there is one verse that continued to resonate repeatedly in my mind. Often, we hear people say ‘I am blessed and highly favored’ as they respond to how are you. I wonder how many of those who say that can tell me why. Well, I am going to give us two reasons today from Psalms 4.

In Psalms 4:3, David says that the faithful or godly has been set apart by God for his own purposes. The second blessing and favor is that God hears him when he calls.

Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.

To reiterate, another word for faithful is godly. In the Hebrew, the word is chaciyd (khä·sēd’). It means faithful, kind, godly, holy one, saint, pious. This verse and several in Psalms 4 show the benefit of the person who enters into the covenant relationship God offers us through Jesus Christ. Through Christ, God offers man the opportunity to be redeemed and reconciled. Without Christ, we remain enemies of God. With Christ, the hostility we created with God because of our disobedience is eliminated. Colossians 1:20-22 We also learn that we become friends with God when our obedience to him is enacted. John 15:14

We all have experienced or heard of the incident of people picking teams and no one wants the kid who can’t play. Inherent in pickers unwillingness to pick the last players is their devaluation of their ability. God knows that we have no ability and no worth other than that which he gives us, but He still picks us not because of who we are but because of who He is and what He can make us. God, through David, says that He sets apart the faithful for himself. Again, know that our faithfulness is seen through the lens of Christ. You and I both know that we are not faithful to anyone or anything, but God chooses to see us as faithful through the blood of Christ. God continues to remain committed to being in relationship with Him because He chose us to be. 2 Timothy 2:13

Since God set us apart and hears when I call, I can say that I am blessed and highly favored. I can say that I am somebody. I am someone special. I am not sure if we contemplate the magnitude of being known by God and having Him hear us when we call. I do not devalue that blessing. At any time, at any place, I can call on God with the assurance that He hears me. The connotation is that if He hears me because I am in need. Since I express my faith in Him by calling on Him, He will answer. I am not talking about God being my personal Santa Claus or Genie. I am talking about my Relying And Depending In Christ As Lord – R.A.D.I.C.A.L. Life. God expects the believer to call on Him to live life in a manner consistent with His Word, so God can use us to build His kingdom.

The Lord hears when I call to Him is a great blessing and favor. It is a source of David’s confidence. It is becoming one for me in the midst of my challenges. How about you? Do you call upon the name of the LORD as your help? Has God set you apart for himself? More importantly, did you join Him in His work?

 

If you want more insight and biblical perspective on the matter from Psalms. 4:3, read an entry from commentator, Matthew Henry, for that extra.

Matthew Henry wrote “He shows them the peculiar favour which God has for good people, the special protection they are under, and the singular privileges to which they are entitled, Ps. 4:3. This comes in here, (1.) As a reason why they should not oppose or persecute him that is godly, nor think to run him down. It is at their peril if they offend one of these little ones, whom God hasset apart for himselfMatt. 18:6. God reckons that those who touch them touch the apple of his eye; and he will make their persecutors to know it, sooner or later. They have an interest in heaven, God will hear them, and therefore let none dare to do them any injury, for God will hear their cry and plead their cause, Exod. 22:23. It is generally supposed that David speaks of his own designation to the throne; he is the godly man whom the Lord has set apart for that honour, and who does not usurp it or assume it to himself: “The opposition therefore which you give to him and to his advancement is very criminal, for the rein you fight against God, and it will be vain and ineffectual.” God has, in like manner, set apart the Lord Jesus for himself, that merciful One; and those that attempt to hinder his advancement will certainly be baffled, for the Father hears him always. Or, (2.) As a reason why they should themselves be good, and walk no longer in the counsel of the ungodly: “You have hitherto sought vanity; be truly religious, and you will be truly happy here and for ever; for,” [1.] “God will secure to himself his interest in you.”The Lord has set apart him that is godly, every particular godly man, for himself, in his eternal choice, in his effectual calling, in the special disposals of his providence and operations of his grace; his people are purified unto him a peculiar people. Godly men are God’s separated, sealed, ones; he knows those that are his, and has set his image and superscription upon them; he distinguishes them with uncommon favours: They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels. Know this; let godly people know it, and let them never alienate themselves from him to whom they are thus appropriated; let wicked people know it, and take heed how they hurt those whom God protects. [2.] “God will secure to you an interest in himself.” This David speaks with application: The Lord will hear when I call unto him. We should think ourselves happy if we had the ear of an earthly prince; and is it not worth while upon any terms, especially such easy ones, to gain the ear of the King of kings? Let us know this, and forsake lying vanities for our own mercies.”

Confidence in the Face of Fear

July 29, 2013

In the post Who Lifts Your Head When You are Down?, the question Who encourages you when you are dejected and disappointed? was presented. It was conveyed that we who trust in Jehovah, the Almighty God, receives an answer from God when we call out to Him when we are dejected and discouraged. Now, we look further in  Psalms 3 to see what else King David shared with us about the benefit of calling on Jehovah in the midst of our dejection and discouragement.

Psalms 3

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

David shares with us who God is, our a shield, glory, and the One who lifts our head high. After trusting God, David expresses another benefit of having Jehovah the centerpiece of our faith.  First, David could now lie down and sleep. Before, he was consumed with the anguish of the assault on his kingship especially from that of his own son, Absalom. I am not sure about you, but I have been consumed with an issue that caused me to fear as well as ones which I loathed. I just could not sleep, and if I did, I only slept intermittently. Furthermore, David says that he can face the day or wake up because he was convinced that God sustains him.

Once he awakens, David states that he will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. I have never faced such imminent danger like that before and never will. Yet, David said that fear would not be his primary thought and feeling. Confidence that arises from faith in Jehovah is that which consumed his mind. In my present circumstance, I really could benefit from that as when I awake fear is there seeking to seize me. Unfortunately, I struggle to maintain that confidence that David expressed as a result of knowing God sustained him.

In his prayer, David reengages God asking for God’s deliverance. The call for God to arise is a call for arms, for God to spring into action to fight on behalf of his people, for his king, for his man. The benefit of prayer surfaces again. Peace and confidence surface when we exercise and express our faith in Jehovah.  Matthew Henry expresses God had often broken the power and restrained the malice of his enemies, had smitten them upon the cheek-bone (Ps. 3:7), had silenced them and spoiled their speaking, blemished them and put them to shame, smitten them on the cheek reproachfully, had disabled them to do the mischief they intended; for he had broken their teeth. Saul and the Philistines, who were sometimes ready to swallow him up, could not effect what they designed. The teeth that are gnashed or sharpened against God’s people shall be broken. When, at any time, the power of the church’s enemies seems threatening, it is good to remember how often God has broken it; and we are sure that his arm is not shortened. He can stop their mouths and tie their hands.

Lastly, David’s faith is seen as he asks for deliverance in verse seven and conveys deliverance is provided by God in verse eight. It is God’s deliverance and God’s  blessing that buoy our lives.  When we are trusting in who God is and what God can do, we experience great peace and confidence in the face of weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” God uses trying situations as shaping tool to refine our character. Romans 8:29 says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”

We should not lose sight of God’s goal in responding to us in prayer – that we might be for the praise of his glory. It is our belief in God that allows us to have Confidence in the Face of Fear. Who are we going to trust? If we will trust in God, we must recall who He is and stand in faith of who God is and what God can do.

 

 

Who Lifts Your Head When You are Down?

July 27, 2013

baylor coachI remember a semi-final game of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Championship. Baylor was the number one team in the country with the number one player in the county. They expected to win against the University Louisville. Most of America expected them to win against Louisville, but Louisville won. I remember the dejection and disappointment observed in the reaction of the players. Even before the game was over, their head coach, Kim Mulkey, had her head down over a miscue in the execution of a play. Like Coach Mulkey, we all experience emotions that evidence our feelings when things do not go as we desire in life. Dejection and disappointment are common to the human experience. The question is Who Lifts Your Head When You are Down? Who encourages you when you are dejected and disappointed?

For the believer, it is our triune God, Jehovah. Throughout the Word of God and the lives of the people of God, we can find examples of the answer to the question of Who Lifts Your Head When You are Down? Let’s go to Psalms 3 to see one example.  Psalms 3 captures  King David’s dejection and disappointment when he fled the royal city after a coup, directed by his son Absalom, was invoked. Can you imagine how you would feel if your position, power and person was attempted to be seized from you? Moreover, it was your son who led the revolt to remove you as king. I am sure that David was dejected and disappointed. The drooping of Coach Mulkey’s head does not compare to what David may have felt like. Is there a circumstance you face in your life right now that causes your head to be down from dejection and disappointment? Are you having a hard time lifting your head.

Lifting your head is synonymous to being encouraged and strengthened to go on in the face of that which dejects and disappoints. Psalms 3 shows us how to get to that place.

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

David models for us what to do. First, David prays. In his prayer, David expresses that he was enveloped by trouble, a lot of trouble from many directions not just Absalom. David then expresses the challenges to his faith. He believes in God, but satan and those around him are speaking discouragement to David. They lay assault to the confidence of his faith. In verse 2, David reports that they are saying to him “God will not deliver him.”

There is nothing more deflating to the believer than to have his/her faith in God shaken. When we waver in unbelief, James 1:6 tells usBut when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Famed commentator Matthew Henry states “As the foregoing psalm (Psalms 2), in the type of David in preferment, showed us the royal dignity of the Redeemer, so this, by the example of David in distress, shows us the peace and holy security of the redeemed, how safe they really are, and think themselves to be, under the divine protection. David, being now driven out from his palace, from the royal city, from the holy city, by his rebellious son Absalom, I. Complains to God of his enemies, Ps. 3:1, 2. II. Confides in God, and encourages himself in him as his God, notwithstanding, Ps. 3:3. III. Recollects the satisfaction he had in the gracious answers God gave to his prayers, and his experience of his goodness to him,”

Verse three expresses the truth about who God is, what God does for the believer and David’s reaffirmation of who he is to God. We must remember those things when we are dejected and disappointed. We must remember who God is, what God does for those who trust in him, and who we are as believers in Christ Jesus. Let’s examine David’s engagement in that process.

First, David quotes the truth about God. “But you, Lord, are a shield around me,” This reaffirms who God is, what God can do and who David is in relation to God. God are a shield. A shield protects. In danger, we need a shield or rampart. Psalms 91:4 says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” David was aware of who God was. He had to remind himself of that. We too must do the same thing. We must also believe that when we see it and hear it. Next, David says that God is “my glory”. God is the one who distinguishes him. God is the one who makes him shine, bestows honor to him, and provides praise. It was not anything he ever did, but it was God. You know how we are. We think to highly of ourselves. It is nothing like a circumstance God uses to humble us. David was truly humbled. Now, he could see things as they truly are rather than the skewed view of pride.

Lastly, David remembered another facet of who God is to him. David said, “you are the One who lifts my head high.” David acknowledged that it was the Almighty God who lifted his head, not just lifted it, but lifted it high. Lifting of one’s head is an expression or term of encouragement. In essence, David is saying that God, you are my encourager. Right now, I am pretty dejected and disappointed over the events of my life. My own son, flesh of my flesh is leading a revolt against the throne you gave me. I know that I may have been wrong, but God help me. It is you who is my encouragement, and I am turning to you to encourage me.

This is exactly what we must do. We must turn to The LORD, the one Who Lifts Your Head When You are Down?, if we want to effectively deal with dejection and discouragement. God may not change our circumstances, but he can lift your head in encouragement. Give him a call. Remember Psalms 34:15-18

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Remember who God is, He Who Lifts Your Head When You are Down, and cry out to him.

 

I want to “Pump You Up”

July 26, 2013

On Saturday Night Live, Hans and Franz entertained us Saturday after Saturday with their sketches which mimicked/spoofed Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Hans and Franz were fictional body builders who would have guest whom they would share body building tips to build up their bodies. They are noted for their noted phrase “I am Hans, and I am Franz; and we just want to.. [ clap ] Pump.. you up!”

In spiritual terms, I want to “Pump You Up”. I want to give you spiritual body building tips to build up the body of Christ. Whether you are a current believer or one to come later, we are encouraged to participate in building up the body of Christ.  Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” 1 Corinthians 14:26 “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.”

The text that inspired the post today is 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

For the past few posts, I have used Psalms 2 as the text to guide what I wrote. It fueled me as I spoke to several people yesterday including my daughter who is not beginning to experience real life. She is facing people talking about her and bullying her. For some time, she has been insulated from that type of behavior because she was not in that environment nor was she of the age where kids were of that ilk. Now as a middle schooler, I am well aware of that as I see it every day when school is in session. While I talked to her about resolving conflict, what she needs most is a spiritual build up, so I will tell her this morning that I want to “Pump You Up”.

Beyond that, I want to share with you how my triune God “Pumps Me Up”. Let’s face it, life is a challenge. There are people and circumstances that are bent on deflating us rather than pumping us up. When danger is imminent, there are two responses – fight or flight. If we fight, we must be sure to have the right defensive and offensive maneuvers to experience success. In 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, we learn that Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God and to allow us to live together with him. The scriptures are replete with example after example where God was with man.

I will just give you one example from my life. Over the past six months, God has continually told me that He is with me. He has reassured me over and over that “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” The way for us to be pumped up is to take refuge in God. Refuge is a place of shelter, protection, or safety. God is all of that for us. In the post Blessed are All who take Refuge in Him, I shared many blessings that result from seeking refuge in God. Another way to seek refuge in God is to put your trust in God. This means that we are covered by God no matter what the circumstance. Psalms 91:4 says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” A rampart is a wall of earth or other material built for defense;

any protection against external danger, injury, or annoyance. This is what Jesus is to me. This is the message God has given me for the past few months. This is how I want to “Pump You Up”.

 

 

Blessed are All who take Refuge in Him

July 25, 2013

In the post Bow to the King of Kings, we are urged to submit our hearts and minds to Christ. God, as we see in Psalms 2, is concerned about absolute surrender of our lives to him. The kissing the Son is symbolic of surrender and submission to the king. God says in verse 12 of Psalms 2 “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

Psalms 2

12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.  NKJV

Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. NIV

In verse 12, the primary blessedness from taking refuge (trusting) in Christ is being free from the wrath of God. To reiterate, the Hebrew word for blessed here is ‘esher (eh’·sher) which means happiness. God is saying to man if you want to be blessed, This is How I Roll. If we submit to God’s way, we will be blessed. Blessed is a state of pleasure or joy experienced both by people and by God, but subject to change according to circumstances. True happiness derives from a secure and settled knowledge of God and a rejoicing in his works and covenant faithfulness. God rejoices over his faithful people (Dictionary of Bible Themes). According to the Dictionary of Bible Themes and the verses that support those assertions, here are other sources of being blessed.

Happiness found in human relationships
Dt 24:5 See also Ge 30:13Ge 34:191Ki 10:8Ps 113:9Pr 23:24Ecc 9:9SS 4:10Ro 15:242Co 7:13

Happiness found in people and things
1Ki 4:20Lk 1:141Ti 6:17 See also Dt 20:6 David and Jonathan: 1Sa 18:31Sa 20:17
Ps 127:3-5Ecc 3:12Ecc 5:19Ecc 8:15Ecc 11:9;Isa 65:22Jnh 4:6Lk 12:19Jn 16:21Php 2:25-30

Happiness found in God
In God’s presence Ps 16:11 See also Ps 21:6Ps 43:41Th 3:9
In God’s word Ps 119:35 See also Isa 55:2Jer 15:16Mk 12:37Ro 7:22
In God’s actions Ge 21:6Ac 11:23 See also Ex 18:91Sa 2:11Sa 19:51Ki 8:66Est 8:16Ps 16:6Ps 92:4Ps 111:2Isa 61:10Ac 13:48

God’s happiness
In obedient people Dt 30:9-10 See also 1Sa 15:22;Ps 147:11Isa 9:17Mt 25:21
In the righteous Pr 11:20 See also Ps 147:11Pr 11:1Ecc 2:26Jer 9:24

Jesus Christ’s recipe for happiness
Mt 5:3-10 pp Lk 6:20-22

Happiness may not be permanent
Ecc 7:14 See also Est 5:9Job 7:7Ps 10:6Pr 15:13Ecc 11:9Jer 16:9La 5:15Joel 1:12

Happiness for those who trust in God
Ps 84:12 See also Ps 2:12Ps 34:8Ps 40:4Ps 146:5Pr 16:20Jer 17:7Lk 1:45Jn 20:29Gal 3:9

Happiness for those who obey God
Ps 89:15 See also Job 5:17Ps 1:1-2Ps 94:12Ps 112:1Ps 128:1Pr 28:14Pr 29:18Isa 56:1-2Lk 11:27-28Rev 1:3Rev 22:7

Happiness for those who are forgiven
Ps 32:1-2 See also Ro 4:7-8Rev 22:14

Happiness for those who suffer persecution
1Pe 3:14 See also Mt 5:11-121Pe 4:14

Happiness for those who persevere
Mt 11:6 See also Jas 1:12Jas 5:11Rev 16:15

In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” I hope that you can see that without Christ we are nothing and have nothing. Ligonier Ministries says it is due to the total inability of the unregenerate sinner makes saving grace absolutely necessary for the beginning, the development, and the completion of salvation.

Now we know why the psalmist wrote  Blessed are All who take Refuge in Him.

Bow to the King of Kings

July 24, 2013

Most everyone agrees that the birth of a child is grand especially if the child is attached to royalty.Every where we turn, we see and hear announcements about the birth of the Prince of Cambridge. We could not imagine anyone opposing this newly born royal prince, but in my post Are You Opposing the Kingdom of the Messiah?, I presented God’s Word where He was asking kings of this world to honor Him and His son. I referenced the prophecy that God’s Son would rule and reign in all of creation including the earth as outlined in Psalms 2.

Below, we see God exhorting rulers of this world to be wise by serving God with reverence and to stand in awe of Him.

10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Throughout time, there have been kings who have been credited with being great men, even the most powerful men, but they were not God incarnate. Nebuchadnezzar is one such king. The Almighty God says in Ezekiel 26:7 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army.” God called him the king of all the kings of Nebuchadnezzar’s day.

Let’s look at Nebuchadnezzar, the great king of Babylon who captured Jerusalem and carried Judah captive. Nebuchadnezzar means “may Nebo protect the crown” or “O god Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son”.  Undoubtedly, Nebuchadnezzar was a great king during his time, but let us examine what the Word of God presents in Daniel 4 about what Nebuchadnezzar says about Jehovah.

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”

Nebuchadnezzar, the great king, humbled himself to Jehovah, the Most High God. While he recognized God for who He is, it is unclear whether he surrendered his life to the Most High. Perhaps in Psalms 2, God offers kings and their subjects, mere people like you and me, further instruction in living life. God subjected Nebuchadnezzar causing him to humble himself before God to make the statement above, but God, as we see in Psalms 2, is concerned about absolute surrender of our lives to him. The kissing the Son is symbolic of surrender and submission to the king. God says in verse 12 of Psalms 2 “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

For those who fail to trust in Him, God’s wrath remains on them. In their resistance and revolt, they fight against the Son, Jesus Christ. In Revelation 17:14, God says, “They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” God conveys that there will be war, but the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, will triumph. This is a real battle to demonstrate His sovereign rule in all of creation. In essence, we must Bow to the King of Kings. We can either submit now or submit later but realize “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

 

 

Are You Opposing the Kingdom of the Messiah?

July 23, 2013

Almost a month ago, I submitted a post titled Someone is Plotting Against You. In it, I also stated that the Freedictionary.com provides an explanation of the idiom “plotting against someone”. It defines plotting against someone as to make a scheme against someone or something. All this led me to ask, why would someone want to plot against you or me? By virtue of the definition, the connotation is that the scheme or plan is not for edification but for harm or maltreatment. One who wants to hurt you is one who has no regard for you. Simply put, that one does not care, like or love you.

In actuality, the bible says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This is described in essence in Psalms 2. In this psalm, the prophecy of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is provided. While that is the focus, it also identifies that God and Christ would have His opposers, those who would scheme in vain against Him.

Let’s see that opposition in Psalms 2.

“Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

You might say, ‘ who opposes God?.  Colossians 1:21 says that we are enemies of God because of our evil behavior. Evil in this sense is behavior that is not consistent with what God has asked us to be and do. Basically, we disobey God. We live like we want, or we justify our non-compliant behavior. The people mentioned in this psalm actually scheme and plot against God to do what they want and to stop what He wants or esteems.

God says that He will laugh at them and hold them in contempt (v4). He will speak to them in His wrath and distress them in His displeasure. In our court of law, people held in contempt are thrown in jail. Spiritual jail is eternal separation from God – the lake of fire, Hell.

Today, God has given us all an opportunity to escape His wrath through Jesus Christ. John 3:38 says, “36He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”” Are You Opposing the Kingdom of the Messiah?

God’s Reminder

July 21, 2013

In the post The Lord Knows Where You Are Going, the notion that God has a plan for our lives was revisited and reiterated. We, well at least I do, tend to forget that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. I had no idea that I would be working with kids as a vocation. In fact, I am stupefied over the matter. I did not even like kids which almost cost me my wife. Near the end of our courtship, she told me that she did not want to continue investing in our relationship because I did not want kids. Hedging my investment, I conveyed to her not right now at least. I was open. Now, I see that God used that to begin causing me to be open to His plan.

God's Reminder

On yesterday, one of my former students, Lanika, posted that image on Facebook. It was a very subtle reminder from God to me of who I am to Him. Frequently, God reminds us of who we are to Him. We are either thinking too much of ourselves, and He has to remind us of who we are, or we are thinking too lowly of ourselves, and He has to remind us of who we are in Christ to Him. Let’s peer into the verses listed here.

 

Every day God thinks of you.
Psalms 68:19 – 19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

Every hour God looks after you.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 – But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Every minute God cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Because every second, He loves you.
Jeremiah 31:3 – The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Now, I am not sure if you realize that every possible second, nano second or any other measurement of time that God has His eye on those who love Him. In His faithfulness, he will strengthen and protect us from the evil one who is the true enemy not the people who dislike you or even the loved one whom you thought did not treat you right. He calls us to throw or cast our anxiety on Him.  I have some things that are capturing my attention while seemingly feeling some trepidation. Throw them to Him because He cares for us. He has drawn us to Himself and loves us with an everlasting love. It never ends. In fact, as the song says, its new with every rising of the sun because His love is everlasting; it’s an everlasting love.

Some times, I just needed to be reminded of who I am to God. I shouldn’t, but that is the reality. Through His Spirit, His Word, His people and His constructed circumstances God speaks to us reminding us of how much we are loved. Let’s open our eyes and ears. No, ask God to open them, so we can see and hear the demonstration and proclamation of His love through Jesus Christ.

July 21, 2013

In the post The Lord Knows Where You Are Going, the notion that God has a plan for our lives was revisited and reiterated. We, well at least I do, tend to forget that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. I had no idea that I would be working with kids as a vocation. In fact, I am stupefied over the matter. I did not even like kids which almost cost me my wife. Near the end of our courtship, she told me that she did not want to continue investing in our relationship because I did not want kids. Hedging my investment, I conveyed to her not right now at least. I was open. Now, I see that God used that to begin causing me to be open to His plan.

God's Reminder

On yesterday, one of my former students, Lanika, posted this image on Facebook. It was a very subtle reminder from God to me of who I am to Him. Frequently, God reminds us of who we are to Him. We are either thinking too much of ourselves, and He has to remind us of who we are, or we are thinking too lowly of ourselves, and He has to remind us of who we are in Christ to Him. Let’s peer into the verses listed here.

 

Every day God thinks of you.
Psalms 68:19 – 19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

Every hour God looks after you.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 – But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Every minute God cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Because every second, He loves you.
Jeremiah 31:3 – The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Now, I am not sure if you realize that every possible second, nano second or any other measurement of time that God has His eye on those who love Him. In His faithfulness, he will strengthen and protect us from the evil one who is the true enemy not the people who dislike you or even the loved one whom you thought did not treat you right. He calls us to throw or cast our anxiety on Him.  I have some things that are capturing my attention while seemingly feeling some trepidation. Throw them to Him because He cares for us. He has drawn us to Himself and loves us with an everlasting love. It never ends. In fact, as the song says, its new with every rising of the sun because His love is everlasting; it’s an everlasting love.

Some times, I just needed to be reminded of who I am to God. I shouldn’t, but that is the reality. Through His Spirit, His Word, His people and His constructed circumstances God speaks to us reminding us of how much we are loved. Let’s open our eyes and ears. No, ask God to open them, so we can see and hear the demonstration and proclamation of His love through Jesus Christ.