VIDEO Psalm 27:1-4 Song The LORD is my Light & My Salvation

Jul 5, 2012

Psalm 27:1-4 (NKJV)
A Psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.

3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.

Music Copyrighted by Esther Mui. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

When Others Won’t Forgive

Cross in sand
Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the goal. —Philippians 3:13-14

I was having lunch with two men who had opened their lives to Christ while they were in prison. The younger man had been discouraged by the fact that the family from whom he had stolen would not forgive him.

“My crime was violent,” the older man said. “It continues to haunt and affect the family to this day. They have not forgiven me, . . . the pain is just too great. At first, I found myself paralyzed by this longing for their forgiveness.” He continued his story: “Then one day I realized I was adding selfishness to my brokenness. It’s a lot to expect that the family forgive me. I was focused on what I felt I needed to heal from my past. It took some time to realize that their forgiveness of me was a matter between them and God.”

“How can you stand it?” the younger man asked.

The older man explained that God did for him what he didn’t deserve and what others simply can’t do: He died for our sins, and He keeps His promise to move our sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12) and “will not remember [our] sins” (Isa. 43:25).

In the face of such great love, we honor Him by accepting His forgiveness as sufficient. We must forget what lies behind and keep pressing forward (Phil. 3:13-14).

Paul often uses the metaphor of an athlete running a race to depict the Christian life (1 Cor. 9:24-27; Phil. 2:16; 2 Tim. 4:7). In today’s passage, he compares himself to someone running a long-distance race. Paul had probably been a Christian for about 30 years when he wrote this letter; he was known as the apostle to the Gentiles (Eph. 3:8; Gal. 2:8) and as a teacher of the Scriptures. He could have been content with his own spiritual maturity, but he did not consider himself as having “already reached perfection” (v.12 nlt). Instead, Paul persisted in pursuing Christlikeness (v.10) with the determination and vigor of a runner whose single goal is to be the first to cross the finish line.

Thank You, Father, for the work of Christ on the
cross. Help me to understand and accept what
it means for me, and to be a messenger of that
forgiveness to those I meet along the way.

The work of Christ is sufficient for every sin.

Grace on Display

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Paul described himself as the worst of sinners, and yet someone to whom the Lord had expressed His favor and love (1 Tim. 1:16). Because of divine grace, the apostle became spiritually alive and a member of God’s family. He had a new purpose for living—one that would glorify his heavenly Father and help build His kingdom. From that day forward, Paul’s attitudes and behavior were dramatically different.

Through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, Paul’s character was increasingly marked by gratitude and compassion. His writings consistently expressed appreciation for God’s blessings and urged others to be grateful as well. His words also reveal humility. A highly educated and influential man, he now counted all his credentials as “loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus [his] Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

After Paul met the Savior, his actions also changed dramatically. He cared deeply about those who were still separated from God, and he fervently desired to help Christians grow in their faith. For the rest of his life, he served the Lord by sharing the gospel, encouraging fellow believers, and meeting the needs of others. He accepted that suffering for the cause of Christ was part of this new life.

As we read about the apostle’s life, we see grace on display. He was used as God’s ambassador to the Gentiles. Through him, biblical truths were recorded for future generations. The Holy Spirit seeks to transform our lives, just as He did Paul’s. Are you allowing grace to work within you?

The Communion of the Saints

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

The words “fellowship” and “communion” in our King James Version are both translations of the same word (koinonia) in the Greek New Testament. The fellowship of which the New Testament speaks is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian life. In the early days, “they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. . . . And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:42, 46).

It wasn’t long before heresies, schisms, and non-Christian practices began to fragment the churches; nevertheless, fellowship is still a vital biblical doctrine toward which all Christians should strive.

Today, with our multiplicity of sects and denominations, the concept of the communion of the saints seems almost an anomaly. Yet there is still a very real and blessed fellowship among Bible-believing Christians of all denominations, and this is one of the great blessings of the Christian life.

True fellowship, of course, must be based on truth in doctrine and practice. As our text indicates, real spiritual fellowship with fellow Christians must be based, first of all, on fellowship with the Father and the Son. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7). Christian fellowship is not, as many seem to think, built on food and fun, but on truth and light. HMM

It May Not Be Convenient

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. —1 Corinthians 9:27

What must our Lord think of us if His work and His witness depend upon the convenience of His people? The truth is that every advance that we make for God and for His cause must be made at our inconvenience. If it does not inconvenience us at all, there is no cross in it! If we have been able to reduce spirituality to a smooth pattern and it costs us nothing—no disturbance, no bother and no element of sacrifice in it—we are not getting anywhere with God. We have stopped and pitched our unworthy tent halfway between the swamp and the peak.

We are mediocre Christians!

Was there ever a cross that was convenient? Was there ever a convenient way to die? I have never heard of any, and judgment is not going to be a matter of convenience, either! Yet we look around for convenience, thinking we can reach the mountain peak conveniently and without trouble or danger to ourselves.

Actually, mountain climbers are always in peril and they are always advancing at their inconvenience.

Lord, help me to serve You faithfully, with full discipline, whether it’s convenient or not. Amen.

Our Lord the Object of Faith for Salvation

… Preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:). Acts 10:36

It is altogether doubtful whether any man can be saved who comes to Christ for His help but with no intention of obeying Him, for Christ’s saviourhood is forever united to His lordship.

Look at the apostle’s instruction and admonition: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

There the Lord is the object of faith for salvation! And when the Philippian jailer asked the way to be saved, Paul replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Paul did not tell him to believe on the Saviour with the thought that he could later take up the matter of His lordship and settle it at his own convenience. To Paul there could be no division of offices. Christ must be Lord or He will not be Saviour!

There is no intention here to teach that our first saving contact with Christ brings perfect knowledge of all He is to us. The contrary is true. Ages upon ages will hardly be long enough to allow us to experience all the riches of His grace.

As we discover new meanings in His titles and make them ours we will grow in the knowledge of our Lord and the many forms of love He wears exalted on His throne!

Majesty—and Meekness

I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. PSALM 145:5

When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: “He is thy Lord—worship thou Him!”

They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair. They said that He was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a mysterious being, and yet they noted His meekness.

The meekness was His humanity. The majesty was His deity. You find them everlastingly united in Him. So meek that He nursed at His mother’s breast, cried like any baby and needed all the human care that every child needs.

But He was also God, and in His majesty He stood before Herod and before Pilate. When He returns, coming down from the sky, it will be in His majesty, the majesty of God; yet it will be in the majesty of the Man who is God!

This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Before His foes He stands in majesty. Before His friends, He stands in meekness!

Dear Lord, You are both my King and my Friend. Lead me through this day, O King, and pick me up when I stumble, dear Friend.