Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

When God says, "Yeah, Right!"

Psalm 2:1: Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves [against God], and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his Anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their chains, and cast away their ropes from us.
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision ["you gotta be kidding!"]
5 Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

It's amazing that people who don't believe in the God of the Bible think that their unbelief makes Him nonexistent, and that they will never give account to Him.
Psalm 2 gives the lie to this, and points out that God is there, He can't be avoided or evaded, and He requires not only that I acknowledge Him, but that I follow and honor Him.
All the peoples of the world, Psalm 2 tells us, gather together against the LORD, and against His anointed, and say:
"Let's get rid of God! Let's get rid of His Son!" Like that's going to work. You can fight Him, but you won't win.
God's response:  "I have STILL set my King on my holy mount Zion (location, Jerusalem).  In other words, all the efforts to dislodge God as the Creator of the Universe and the Son as His King will fail. It can't happen.
God has promised the Son that He will rule over the kingdoms of the earth:
"Ask of me [says God], and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the furthest regions of the earth for your possession."
All the rulers of the earth get divine counsel:
"Be wise, therefore, you kings, be instructed, you judges (powerful people) of the earth: serve the LORD, and rejoice--tremble at His presence."
And finally, "Kiss the Son [do homage, like kissing a ruler's ring], lest he become angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little."
There is no question but that God expects our obedience and worship.  I realize that in the greater world of devotional writings, this is not a subject that often comes up, but it is true nonetheless--God calls the mighty of the earth to obey, and says they will not escape if they reject Him--that His King is already seated, and ready to take over, so how much more do us common folk have to listen, to follow, to serve Him?
The conclusion:
"Blessed are all they who put their trust in Him."  That is a wonderful word for all who already follow Him, since when you voluntarily follow Him, the blessings are multiplied, while if you are forced to submit, your survival is questionable.
I hope you follow Him.  He not only asks, He demands it.  And you face the Creator-God when you refuse.
That cannot end well.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Delight...

I was thinking about Psalm 1 today, and I recalled that it says, "his delight is in the Law of the LORD." The meaning, of course, is that the godly man rejects the counsel of evil men, and responds instead to the "Law of the LORD."  By this the writer means more than the 10 commandments--he means the "Torah," the written message of God for that time.
However, my focus moved instantly to the word "Delight," because, strange as it may seem, I had never really thought about just that word in this context.
So.  Delight.  He delights in the message of God.  He enjoys it, it gives him pleasure, and he finds it beautiful.  But why?
Well, because we live in a world full of confusion, especially as to how to live. The godly man knows that the counsel of evil men is not for him, but what should he use in its place as the direction for his life?  He has the answer--the "Law of the LORD." It directs him, strengthens his character and resolve, and makes him aware of how to live, even in an age full of hatred, evil, confusion.  It makes him like a tree that never goes dry, like a fruit tree in a perpetual summer.
His delight in the Law is based on the effects God's message has on his life.  He starts by knowing it's right, that it has qualities no other words do. He continues by allowing the teachings God gives him flow into his spirit, enlighten his mind, and direct his life.  This is definitely not about "church," or religion.  It's about God speaking to your soul, telling you things that are only yours, from His message.
God's message to you strengthens you, gives life, gives blessing, makes you productive, makes you continually prosper, wherever you are, whatever you do.
It takes time, though.  A tree doesn't grow up overnight become fruitful and productive, no matter what the conditions.
So the lessons I'm taking away from this for myself are these:
1. Keep reading God's message.
2. Find what's specific for me.
3. Focus on details as well as the big picture. Sometimes it's just a word that gives you His teaching for you today.
4. Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear," so I always need to have my ears attuned to Him.  He speaks often.  This morning it was when I was making coffee.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thank You, Lord!

God deserves our thanks.  He does.  Despite the evil in the world we live in, there is so much to enjoy, so many things for which to be grateful.
So here are some of my own "thanksgivings":
I (at least apparently) have been gifted with good health.  I was able to go out on my bike for a while before Thanksgiving dinner, and the day was really beautiful.
Thank you Lord.

I had a very good Thanksgiving meal, and I didn't over-eat.  For those who know me, this was an achievement, but some time ago I pledged to myself and to the Lord to enjoy the quality of my food rather than the quantity.  He's certainly helped with this.

I enjoyed the company of good friends, and good conversation.  I am now enjoying a comfortable chair, and reflecting on the year gone by, with its challenges, problems, and blessings. The blessings have definitely outnumbered the problems and challenges.

Nobody knows what the future holds, but the best thing of all is that I know my life will not end, because I belong to the Lord.  My body, like everyone else's, will not last forever, but I am His and He is mine--forever.

Here are some thoughts on gratefulness by a health doc whom I read with some regularity.  While it is apparent that he and I don't share faith, his thoughts are still very good, and the article is worth a read:

Dr. Mercola's Thanksgiving thoughts


What are YOU thankful for today?  Are you angry inside, full of stress and pain?  Is there something troubling you?  Perhaps it's time to recognize that God has blessed you, and is still doing so.  Put on some praise music.  Read the 23rd Psalm.  Smile.  Remember that if the immediate future isn't so bright, the ultimate future (if you know the Lord) is spectacular. If you're depressed and completely stressed out, think of all the things God has done for you.  If you're at all like me, there is a mountain of blessing, and a molehill of trouble.
Bless God, and He will bless you...