Thursday, June 29, 2017

Those Who Fear the Lord are Blessed

The Psalms speak a lot about those who are blessed, how to be blessed, and the results of being blessed. It does us well to read and discern if we are being what we need to be and doing what we need to do to be blessed. Psalm 112 has a long list of things God does for those who fear Him. They are truly blessed. I want to focus on what the psalmist told us in a couple of these verses. (Psalm 112:1,7) I hope these things can be said of all of us.

The person who fears the Lord is very blessed. That healthy, holy fear of God leads us to greatly delight in His Word. First we want to please Him, and secondly, we do not want to provoke Him to wrath, because of our sins. Therefore, we delight in His Word to know it and do it.

That leads us into the next truth. When we fear the Lord and live righteously, we will not fear evil tidings. We will not be stressed or constantly upset by the bad news we hear from people and events around us. When we fear the Lord, our hearts are steadfast. We know we must always be trusting the Lord, and when we do, we are secure in His hands. There is no need to fear what people say, because God is in control, and we belong to Him.

This is so helpful to realize in our day and time. No matter how bad this world gets, those who fear the Lord will just keep on delighting in His Word, and we will not fear evil tidings, because of our steadfast trust in Him.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Psalms 113-116.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cursing and Blessing

We can use our words to curse other people or to bless them. When we curse others, we use corrupt words to tear them down. When we bless others, we use beautiful words to build them up. Of course, our words have an effect on others, but they also have an effect on us. That is what David told us. (Psalm 109:17,18) We may not have realized this fact before, so let's look at what the Lord said.

When we love cursing, it comes back on us. It does not just effect the person to whom it is directed, but it causes us harm, as well. When we bless others, it has a way of returning to us, but if we do not delight in blessing others, blessing will be far from us. . This is another example of God's justice.  He will make sure of these results, because He wants to encourage blessing and discourage cursing.

If we "clothe" ourselves with cursing, it enters into our body like water and into our bones like oil. In other words, when we continually practice using curse words and bringing people down with our speech, it becomes a part of who we are. It effects us physically, because we have a negative attitude about others. That usually means we have too high of an opinion about ourselves. God can't bless us either way. We need to put away cursing and all foul language that cuts others down. We need to replace that attitude with a positive attitude and words of blessing. Then, God can bring blessing on us, instead of bringing us down.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Psalms 110-112.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How to be Truly Blessed

Many people are looking to the wrong things as the source of blessings for their lives. Some look to money and others to power or fame. Others look for blessings to come through another person. The truth is that to be truly blessed we must be blessed by God. He knows how to bless us in a way that is fulfilling and lasting. God told us through the psalmist how we can receive those blessings. We are to keep justice and practice righteousness at all times. (Psalm 106:3) I am afraid this concept is being lost in our present culture in the United States.

We all want to be treated justly and fairly by others. Therefore, we need to keep justice ourselves. We do that by following God's commands, because He is the One who established justice. What He says is fair and right is always justice. Just check out His Word if you have questions about any area of life. Also, the same is true for practicing righteousness. First, we must be righteous by trusting Christ as our Lord and Savior. Then, we set out to practice righteousness at all times. That is what disciples of Jesus do, since He was sinless, and we are following Him. Then, when that is our goal, and we apply ourselves to do the right thing according to His Word at all times, He makes sure that we are blessed. It is our reward for keeping justice and practicing righteous at all times.

One reason this works so well is that we have peace of mind and heart that comes from doing the right thing and not having to bear the guilt and punishment of sin. Sins are what keep us from being truly blessed, even if those sins seem to bring pleasure. God makes sure that sin's pleasures are temporary, because He loves us, and He knows that sins lead us away from Him, and they eventually bring death, if we do not trust Him as our Redeemer.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Psalms 107-109.

Monday, June 26, 2017

God's Compassion for His Children

The word compassion means to "feel with or suffer with." It means having the ability to feel what another person is feeling because we have personal knowledge of their situation. We can have compassion when we see and understand what another person is experiencing, and we can come alongside of them to show them our support. A father has compassion on his children because he loves them, and he knows his children and their circumstances very well. God does the same for those of us who fear Him, especially because He knows our frame. He knows we are made of the dust of the ground. (Psalm 103:13,14) This truth should give us all great comfort, if we let it sink in.

God is not quick to judge us critically. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He has perfect knowledge of all we are, because He designed us in our mother's womb. When we hurt emotionally or physically, He understands the source of our pain and how it effects us. He knows that since we are dust, we can't handle those things on our own, so He is ready to come beside us and support us with His love and caring heart. Whatever it is that we are going through, we can be sure that the Lord feels it with us. He is ready to help us. He knows just how weak we are, so there is no need to try to remain strong before Him. We just need to draw near to Him and experience His great love for us.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Psalms 104-106.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Serve the Lord with Gladness

Serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords should not be a burden to any of us. It should be a great privilege, and we should do it with gladness as the psalmist commands. (Psalm 100:2) However, I am afraid that we are so busy, and our lives are so hectic now that we forget this truth. In fact, many people seem to avoid serving the Lord all together. What a sad state of life, when we avoid the greatest thing we can do as children of God.

We were born to have a relationship with God, a real and personal relationship. Sin broke that relationship, so that Jesus had to come to redeem us, and pay for our sins, so that we could enter into a personal relationship with God. Once we do that, we have as our goal to be like Jesus. He is our Lord, and we are His disciples, so we are to be like our Teacher and Model. Jesus was the ultimate Servant. (Mark 10:45) Even though He was Lord of all, He came to serve and to die for all people in the greatest act of loving service in the history of the world. Therefore, He told us to be the servant of all if we will fulfill our goal in His kingdom. When we do serve Him, it must not be out of obligation or else, our motivation will disqualify our service. It must be with gladness and with love in our hearts for him, so that we do all that we do, as unto the Lord Himself.

When we live that lifestyle of a disciple, we will worship with joy, too, because our hearts will be so full of the blessings of the Lord and the joy of having a close fellowship with Jesus. I highly recommend it to everyone. It is by far the greatest way to spend our time on this earth.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Psalms 101-103.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Only God

The God of the Bible is the Only God. All of the other gods are idols. Therefore, we ought to praise the Lord greatly and fear Him above everything else in this world. (Psalm 96:4,5) However, if we look around us and around the world, we see few people who praise Him greatly and fear Him exclusively. Also, there are few people who really believe He is the Creator of all the heavens. What is going on?

God has revealed Himself to every person born into this world. He has made Himself plain to them. If they will only look around with an open heart, they would know that only an All-wise and All-powerful God could have made the heavens, the earth, and all living things. They should be worshiping Him and fearing Him, but they choose to worship idols and to reject the Lord as Creator and Jesus as Savior and Lord. The problem is that they want to go their own way. They do not want a God who tells them what to do. They want to be first, not put God first. They want to believe the world just evolved, so they can believe whatever they like. It is the result of pride, and pride leads to eternal death.

The only way to have forgiveness and life is to humbly repent of our ways and submit to the Lord and His ways. His way is Jesus who died for us and arose from the dead. His way is perfect. Only when we do that will we praise Him greatly and fear Him like we should. I pray that all of us will see what the psalmist saw, and I pray we will know Him personally before it is too late.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Psalms 98-100.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Righteous Will Flourish

God has a way of blessing those who live in righteousness before Him and other people. He strengthens them, as they are committed to the Lord and the Body of Christ. In fact, they will still bear fruit in their old age, and they will still be adaptable, instead of getting rigid and set in their ways. (Psalm 92:12-14) God showed that to the psalmist, and we can see it today.

A righteous person will flourish like a palm tree. Of course, God made palm trees to be able to stand up under ferocious winds and storms. The righteous can bear up under the storms of life and be healthy, because God has blessed them with their strength. Also, they will be like cedars in Lebanon which grow strong and tall and straight. Righteous people are not crooked people, but they stand tall in the eyes of others, because they do what is right. They do not bend to suit this world, but they are faithful to God and His Word. They bear fruit for the Lord and keep bearing that fruit for many years, because they worship the Lord and serve in the Body of Christ. They are nourished by being one of God's people and going to worship Him and give Him all of the praise. They learn that they should always be ready to change, so they can do what God wants, not to be stuck on what they want. Even in old age they are full of vigor, and they are ready to serve the Lord. There are so many benefits for the righteous. I pray that we would all strive to flourish as a righteous person in God's House.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Psalms 94-97.