8-11-2018 Take It Through The Week
Monday -Psalms 27:8–10 Something inside of each and every man tells us that a bigger, higher, and much more complex being created us. We are incomplete without that belief. Our hearts tell us to seek Him. He calls us to Himself and the Bible commands us to seek Him. First we seek Him for His Salvation, then we seek to know more of Him for the rest of our lives. When we realize we have sinned, deep inside we know He is the only solution. Jesus himself said that if He would be lifted up, He would draw all men to Himself. So both David in the Psalms and Jesus in John 12:32 call us to seek God. Here is the really good news. When we seek Him, He does not turn away from us. He does not reject us. The Psalmist says that He has been our helper, that He will not leave us or abandon us. And even if those closest to us were to abandon us, the Psalm says…the Lord cares for me. I pray today that as you seek the Lord, that you are given a new awareness of just how much He loves you. You are special to Him in a way that only the love of a Father to His child could express.
Tuesday – Romans 11:32–36 Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! God’s wisdom and God’s knowledge dwarf us as we consider His creation and all the miracles He has created. The vast complexity of the world and everything in it speak of a God who is so far above our understanding. We scarcely can comprehend how He could have created all we see, and still He truly wants us to understand Him. That is why He planned from the foundations of the world to offer salvation from sin so that we could choose to know Him. The only plan for the salvation of man that could possibly work is one that treats every man equally. That is why verse 32 says what it does. …God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.. if they will. Read Rom. 3:23. It teaches exactly the same thing. Read it and notice the similarity with Rom. 11:32. Men have so much trouble treating all men equally that history is evidence of genocidal atrocities. Total equality is God’s solution for man’s inequality, man’s racism, man’s bigotry, and man’s evil. All have sinned so all can come, if they choose to.
Wednesday – Psalms 42:2 I live on a beautiful hilltop in Tennessee. Sometimes in the morning the smoky mountain fog fills up the holler and the sun shines through it with a heavenly brilliance that forces the soul to leap with the hope of heaven. A bible-reading man can’t help but feel it. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? Its far more than a statement, it’s a heart-cry. As good as life is and as beautiful as God’s creation is, one can’t help but wonder how much better heaven can be? When David wrote this Psalm, He was the King of an incredibly rich nation. He had everything he could possibly want. And yet, He thirsted after seeing the living God. He felt the impatience associated with dreaming about eternity and asked the question, When can I come and appear before God?” I wrote a song many years ago based on passages of scripture like this. “I long after you Lord, I long after You. You alone my heart’s desire. I long after you, long after you.” Pray with me. I thirst after the living water of life. You are my living God. You alone are God, and there is no one like You. I long for Your return. I long to see You Lord. I long to thank You, face to face, for my salvation and for the blessings you have given me. I long for the day when my faith will become sight. Until then Lord, help me to be a blessing to You and to all who need to know you. In Jesus Name, I pray Amen.
Thursday – Psalms 63:2 Someday we will see God. Our old broken bodies will be exchanged for perfect, eternal ones. We were made to be part of a vast throng which lives together with God in a perfect new world. Until then, the next best thing is the church. I have learned more about the Lord and His ways from the church than I could ever have learned on my own. I’m not talking about a building but a living, thriving community of believers. In living in community with other believers the facts I learn from the Word, become faith to live by. As believers, the best way to see Him is to see Him in others. The best way to see His strength and glory is to see it in believers who accomplish new things. Many times these things are so much more than they could have completed on their own, that the accomplishment has to point to Him. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. I see Him in my brothers and sisters-in-Christ. They don’t know it. They don’t see it. But if you and I watch, we will see Jesus in them, in the sanctuary.
Friday – Hosea 14:2 Repentance,… true repentance, always leads to praise. We all know that we wander and that we stray. We all know that spiritually, we can lose our focus. When we do, this passage in Hosea is an excellent call to repentance. Thank God, He anticipated our inability to maintain. So all He requires of us for there to be a blank slate, is…repentance. Take words of repentance with you and return to the Lord. The words don’t have to be flowery, or preachy, or perfect, just sincere. And if we realize the incredible value of God’s gift of prayerful simplicity to us, then we must repay Him with praise from our lips. We have no choice. When the guilty is forgiven for no reason and no perfect phrase had to be uttered. Complete atonement was achieved and no perfect sacrifice had to be given. All that was done when Jesus said it is finished. (John 19:30) Jesus became the sacrifice for our sin once for all time. Read Hebrews 9:12. Jesus shed his own blood so that we would not have to make atonement ourselves for our continuing sin. The realization of the quality of that sacrifice and what it accomplishes daily in our lives, has to result in exuberant, joyous praise from our lips. We repay Him by being full of joy and praise. What a Mighty God to think of such a thing and for Him to be fulfilled by our joy and praise!
Saturday – Matthew 7:7–8 Many times people will ask me, “Pastor, should I keep on praying about something I’ve already asked God about?” Their thought is that once you’ve asked, you should have faith, and leave it with God. However, it is not what we think or feel that matters, it is what God actually says. Jesus answered this exact question for us. Keep asking….keep searching…keep knocking. Jesus commanded that we keep on praying, that we keep on seeking Him. Why? It is not because He could not answer immediately, but that we need to pray, that we need to seek. It is the very process of depending on Him, that keeps us healthy spiritually. In the companion scripture beginning in Luke 11:5, Jesus tells a story about a neighbor who needs three loaves of bread for a guest, so he wakes up his next-door neighbor in the middle of the night and keeps persisting until the neighbor gives him the bread. Jesus leaves no doubt that for the life issues we continue to deal with, we should Keep asking…keep searching…keep knocking. List below 5 things in your life you need to keep before the throne of grace.