Monday, January 23, 2017

Tell All to God

Tell All to God
“The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.”                   (Psalm 6:9 NLT)
Have you ever found it difficult to pray? Are you reluctant to tell God everything that is happening in your life? Are you afraid that he will not understand, or doesn’t care, or isn’t interested in your feelings? Perhaps you are fearful of being disrespectful of your heavenly Father.
   A trip through the Psalms will help remove your reluctance to reveal all to God. After all, he knows everything already. Listening to David’s prayer life you will realize that he was not afraid to be completely honest with God.
   As you overhear David crying out in Psalm 6, “O Lord, don’t’ rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.” V.1) “Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.” (v. 2) “I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me. (v. 3) “O Lord, why do you stand so far away?” (10:1) “Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help.) (28:2) “O Lord, oppose those who oppose me. Fight those who fight against me.” (35:1) “Listen to my prayer, O God. Pay attention to my plea.” (54:2)
   What can we learn from David’s approach to God? Does it sound like he was praying in desperation? Were his prayers expressing the depths of his soul? Was he bold in his requests? Did he pray expecting an answer? What was he really saying to God? “Help me!” “Listen to me!” “Don’t be mad at me!” “Where are you!” “Come to my aid!”
   How do you approach the Lord when you pray? Like David, do you go boldly to the Lord and tell him what’s on your mind or are you reluctant to “Tell all to God.” We are told in Hebrews 4:16, ”So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (NLT)
   You don’t have to be afraid to tell God what you are thinking & feeling. The next time you talk to your heavenly Father – tell it all. He’ll listen! He’ll understand!

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for failing to be totally honest with you in prayer.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Peaceful Repose

Peaceful Repose
“I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.”         Psalm 3:5-6
King David was not a stranger to troubles. He experienced painful family issues – wayward sons, disloyalty, rape, and death. People under his rule turned against him and he had to flee for his life. In spite of these threatening difficulties, David continued to place his faith and confidence in the Lord his God. How else could he say, “I lay down and slept?”
   How do you and I respond when our day is filled with one problem after another? Do we allow anxiety to fill us with dread? Do we wring our hands in frustration? Do we get distraught and find it hard to function. Can we lay down our head on the pillow at night and rest?
   Our Lord Jesus faced some terrifying situations during his earthly walk? Satan tempted him three times in the wilderness to sin against God. The people of Nazareth attempted to throw him off a cliff. The Pharisees tried on several occasions to trick him. The religious leaders accused him of blasphemy. His brothers and sisters denied he was God. The Sadducees plotted against him. All of these attempts to discredit Jesus ended up in failure.
   Like David, Jesus was able to lay down and sleep in “Peaceful repose.” It reminds me of his experience with the disciples while on the Sea of Galilee in the midst of a fierce storm, “Jesus himself was in the stern asleep on the cushion…”  (Mark 4:38)
   If we trust the Lord and seek to do his will, He will work on our behalf even while we’re asleep; “He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.” (Psalm 121:3 and 5)

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for the nights rest and your protection over me.   

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bob Delaney: Jesus -- Our Bodyguard

Bob Delaney: Jesus -- Our Bodyguard: Jesus our bodyguard “But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.” (Psalm 3:3) Usually...

Jesus -- Our Bodyguard

Jesus our bodyguard
“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.” (Psalm 3:3)
Usually only wealthy or prominent people hire bodyguards such as presidents, celebrities, mob bosses, famous athletes, and kings. Most of us can hardly imagine having someone walking by our side every day of the year watching, guarding, and protecting us. Without our even being aware of his presence, we have the Lord Jesus walking beside us as our bodyguard. He has a multitude of guardian angels who are assigned to help to manage our security.
   If only I had known of this protection as a child, what a difference it might have made. I was harassed, bullied, chased, pushed, beaten and berated from the time I stared school until about the age of fourteen. It took a long time for me to build up the courage to say, “Enough is enough” and defend myself.
   David was clearly in the need of a bodyguard. His son, Absalom spent hours and days building up support to overthrow his father, the king. He was handsome, a smooth talker, and a gifted liar who knew how to please the people and steal their hearts. (2 Sam. 15:1-6).
   Why had God allowed this disgraceful uprising? It was part of the consequences of David’s adulterous sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. God in his grace forgave David when he confessed, but he reaped bitter family problems – death of his son born to Bathsheba and rape of his daughter Tamar and the final death of his sons Ammon, Absalom, and Adonijah.
   Like David, we often suffer hardships of our own making or from the actions of others, but we can say with confidence that God is our shield. David’s faith and dependence was in the Lord. We, too, can cry out to God, like David did, and know that he will answer us. (Ps. 3:4) Our Savior, the Lord Jesus, is our bodyguard and walks beside us through all the storms of life.
   Do you daily trust in Jesus -- your bodyguard?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I need you, Lord Jesus, to be my bodyguard – watch over me.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

God's Son Reigns

God’s Son Reigns
“Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like clay jars.” (Ps. 2:8-90)
In this section of Psalm 2, the Heavenly Father highlights and exalts his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The sonship of Christ is reinforced by the Apostle Paul in Acts 13:33, “that God has fulfilled his promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You.” The fact of Jesus being the only begotten Son of God is also referenced in John 3:16 and at Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, “and behold, a voice out of heaven said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
   Here in Psalm 2, the Father promised the Son complete victory over the nations. He will set up His kingdom and rule the peoples of the world with a “rod of iron,” meaning that total righteousness will prevail. Anyone who rebels against the Son’s authority will be dealt with swiftly and justly. In that day, all dissenters will be shattered and smashed down like broken clay jars. Warren Wiersbe in his commentary “Be Worshipful” says, “Before going to battle, ancient eastern kings participated in a ritual of breaking clay jars that symbolized the enemy army and thus guaranteed the help of the gods to defeat them. Jesus needs no such folly; He smashes His enemies completely (Rev. 19:11ff; Dan. 2:42-44.
   Make no mistake! The “futile rebellion” of the nations will bring only laughter from the one who sits enthroned in heaven. God is in full control of all events, seasons, times, people, places, and nations.
   What should be our response in light of these truths? The Psalmist said it best, “Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
   There it is! He is our refuge, our strength, our delight, and our savior.

Prayer: Dear Lord, in time of trouble there is no one else to go to but you, O Lord.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bob Delaney: Laughing and Scoffing

Bob Delaney: Laughing and Scoffing: Laughter and Scoffing “He who is enthroned in heaven laughs” (Ps. 2:4) What picture comes to your mind as you envision God sitting o...

Laughing and Scoffing

Laughter and Scoffing
“He who is enthroned in heaven laughs” (Ps. 2:4)
What picture comes to your mind as you envision God sitting on His throne? Do you see Him looking down on earth with a smile of pleasure on His face, or do you visualize Him looking down with a scroll of displeasure? Would it come as a shock and surprise to find out that God laughs?
   I remember the shock the first time I heard someone refer to Jesus as a “party goer” as if it was somehow wrong or irreverent to picture Him in that manner. Jesus loved parties. He was involved along with his mother at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12). He went to Zacchaeus’ house and Simon’s for a celebration. But to hear that God laughs would be a surprise to many. Our concept of God may well depend upon the level of our understanding and relationship to Him.
   The peaceful scene that is described in Psalm 2:4 is a great contrast to the roar and rage pictured on earth. Down here the nations are in rebellion against the God who loved them so much that “He sent his only begotten son to die for their sin,” while in heaven we find God sitting on his throne laughing at their feeble efforts. Little do the nations realize that they have been weighed and found wanting.
   It was God who set David upon his throne, and gave him victory over his enemies. Now in heaven God laughs in mockery and scoffs at the futile rebellion on earth. He speaks to them in his anger and terrifies them in his fury saying, “I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.” Yes, it is Jesus the son of David who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In that day He will occupy his throne and rule the nations with a rod of iron. (Revelation 19:11-16)
   Are you ready for that day when King Jesus, the Son of David, comes in the clouds to receive His bride and escort her to His heavenly home? Only those who have believed in Jesus as their Savior will qualify to be a part of that great celebration.
   In 2017, all believers need to be looking and listening for that trumpet call.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we are looking for the day when our King, Jesus Christ, returns.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Futile Rebellion

Futile Rebellion
“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’” (Psalm 2:1-2)
Several contrasts exist between Psalm 1 and 2. Psalm 1emphasizes the law, while Psalm 2 focuses our attention on prophecy. In Psalm 1, we see the godly versus the ungodly, while in Psalm 2 we see the wicked in rebellion while God sits on his throne and laughs. Psalm 1 is never quoted in the New Testament, while Psalm 2 is quoted directly or alluded to at least seventeen times.
   Psalm 2 begins with a rhetorical question that requires no answer. The question asked is more of an astonishment than a question. After establishing the peoples and nations, after providing for their basic needs, after guiding them and keeping them alive, and after sending a Savior to bring forgiveness and salvation, why would anyone possibly want to rebel and cast off all authority?
   Where did this rebellion get its beginning? In the larger sense, rebellion began in the beginning when Adam and Eve disregarded God’s command by eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. It generated into a conspiracy during the Tower of Babel and continued down through history to the Crucifixion of Christ and ends with the Battle of Armageddon.
   This “futile rebellion” has as its goal the defiance of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God as clearly stated in Luke 19:14, “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’”
   Jesus said that the world hated him and would also hate those who followed him Matthew 24:9, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name.” The phrase “set themselves” means “get ready for war.”
   We are in a spiritual warfare and must be diligent and on guard to defend the “truth.” Thank God that Psalm 2:4-6 reveals Him still in control.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I can be at peace because you are still on your throne in control.