VIDEO Psalm 27:1-4, 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. Used by permission.

Background Image: BEAUTIFUL SEASCAPE © Vilnis Lauzums | Dreamstime.com

Possibilities

For with God nothing will be impossible. Luke 1:37

Theologians have speculated about what is possible for God. For instance, “Is it possible for God to create something so heavy that it would be impossible for Him to lift it?” Such speculations promote endless loops of conjecture without answers. But the Bible tells us all we need to know about God’s ability: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

For example, an elderly woman past childbearing age gave birth to a son as did an unmarried virgin girl. In both cases, they were told that nothing is impossible for God (Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37). Jesus made this same point on several cases. He said it was impossible for man to save himself but not impossible for God (Mark 10:24-27). Jesus declared that God could save Him from impending death if it was His will (Mark 14:36). He even said that nothing is impossible for the one who has faith in God (Matthew 17:20). The point of all these examples is the same: We must shift our focus from ourselves and our ability to God and His ability. What is impossible for us is possible for Him.

If you are facing an “impossible” situation today, look to God and trust in His ability. Let His will determine the outcome (Matthew 26:39).

Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.  C. T. Studd

Why We Fall

Judges 16

Unless weaknesses are addressed, they have potential to cause destruction. Vulnerabilities can either drive us closer to God or blind us to His love, as two Old Testament stories demonstrate. Joseph and Samson faced similar temptations but responded very differently. Day after day, Potiphar’s wife tried to entice Joseph, yet he rejected her advances (Gen. 39:7-9). Samson, on the other hand, willingly gave in to Delilah (Judg. 16:15-17).

Samson had been consecrated to God, and the Holy Spirit was moving in his life (Judg. 13:24-25). Nevertheless, he chose the path of self-indulgence. Too proud to admit weakness, he lived in denial, which led to a lack of discipline and left the door open for Satan. Because Samson rationalized his weakness, it soon began to dominate his life. Listening to the lies of the devil and wicked people, he exchanged God’s blessing and supernatural strength for irresponsible sexual involvement. And in the end, what did he have? Absolutely nothing.

Given the slightest chance, sin will infiltrate your life and affect every aspect, including your faith, job, and relationships. Nothing is off limits. If you’re thinking, I don’t have any weaknesses with the potential to destroy my life, then Satan has already blinded you to a spiritual reality in your midst.

You have the choice to face temptation as Joseph did—or as Samson did. In times of weakness, do you depend on God, obey Him, and seek strength to overcome? Or do you make excuses and turn from His leading? How different Samson’s life would have been if he’d chosen a better response.

Abram’s Trust Test

“And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.” (Genesis 12:10)

After Abram moved to Canaan at God’s calling, a test came in the form of a severe famine in the new “land of promise.” He became consumed with worry about business survival, leading him to make the decision to leave the land God had promised to give him and take himself and his family into the great empire of Egypt.

Egypt was dominated, as is every world system, by a pagan government. Abram knew this. Yet, motivated by a fear for his personal safety, colored by a self-induced, self-protecting imagination, he became willing to risk the moral compromise of his wife (to say nothing of the potential of destroying God’s promise of an heir) and made an awful decision (Genesis 12:10-13).

Sure enough, what Abram feared seemed to happen. Sarai was rather quickly taken into Pharaoh’s harem. And things seemed to go well as a result; he prospered doing business (Genesis 12:14-16). Sometimes, things work out as we think they might—but God’s sovereign plan will always override our foolish and deceitful behavior (Genesis 12:17-20).

It was a long time before the testimony of Abram was restored in Egypt. Not only did his sin become public knowledge, but the pagan rulers rebuked him for his error (Genesis 12:20). God may undo the potential damage of our foolish behavior, but the spiritual damage is real. The biblical principle is: “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Fortunately, God is also the God of mercy and forgiveness. Abram returned to Canaan, repented of his sin, and restored his fellowship with God. When such sin enters our lives, we can learn the lesson and regain our role with our Creator, just as Abram did. HMM II

“Abide in me.”

Genesis 5:21-24

Our reading leads us to think upon that eminent saint of the antediluvian church, Enoch, the seventh from Adam.

Genesis 5:21-24

Here it is worthy of notice that the sacred writer says once that Enoch “lived;” but he changes the word and writes Enoch “walked with God” thus teaching us that communion with God was Enoch’s life, and truly so it ought to be ours. He was not a mere talker about God, but a walker with God. This holy patriarch lived in unbroken intercourse with the Lord for three hundred years, not now and then visiting with God, but habitually walking with him. This is a point of great difficulty. To draw near to God is comparatively easy; but to remain in undivided fellowship, “this is the work, this is the labour.” Yet the Holy Spirit can enable us to accomplish even this. Continued communion is what we should aim at, and we should not be content with anything short of it.

Some excuse themselves from seeking after unbroken fellowship with God because of their calling, their circumstances, and their numerous engagements. Enoch had the cares of a family upon him, and he was also a public preacher, and yet he kept up his walk with God: no business or household cares should make us forget our God. Society with God is the safety of saints, it is their solace and delight, it is their honour and crown. More to be desired is it than gold, yea, than much fine gold. Happy was Enoch to enjoy it so sweetly, and so continuously. The long intercourse of this good man with his God ended in his being borne away from earth without death to that place where faith is lost in sight. He did not live like others, and therefore he did not die like others.

Paul tells us a little more concerning this holy man, and we will gather up the fragments of his history which remain on record, that nothing may be lost.

Hebrews 11:5, 6

Hebrews 11:5, 6

Faith was the spring from which his communion was derived. Works do not make us walk with God; but faith brings us into his presence, and keeps us there. It is very likely that Enoch’s pious conversation did not please men, but that little mattered since it pleased God.

Jude 14, 15

From Jude we learn that Enoch had an eye to the coming of Christ. The pure in heart who see God are the seers of their age, and look far ahead of others. What Enoch saw he told forth for the warning of others, and it is our duty to do the same, that sinners may be led to flee from the wrath to come.

Jude 14, 15

How important is the doctrine of the advent of the Lord from heaven, since so early in the world’s history one of the holiest of prophets proclaimed it. There must surely be some very powerful influence in this truth, since the greatest teachers of it mentioned in Scripture were also among the most eminent for close fellowship with heaven. Enoch “walked with God” Daniel was a “man greatly beloved” and John was “that disciple whom Jesus loved.” O Lord, if the expectation of thy coming will make us walk with thee, be pleased to fill us with it.

 

Sun of my soul, thou Saviour dear,

It is not night if thou be near,

Oh! may no earth-born cloud arise

To hide thee from thy servant’s eyes.

 

Abide with me from morn till eve,

For without thee I cannot live;

Abide with me when night is nigh,

For without thee I dare not die.

 

When Your Attitude Stinks So Badly That It Affects Everyone Around You!

James 1:21

Today I want to speak to you from James 1:21. I want you to particularly look at the words “filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.” Since James tells us that we must remove and discard from our lives whatever is meant by these two concepts, it is imperative that we understand exactly what he is talking about.

The Greek word for “filthiness” is the word raparian. This Greek word describes filth that is obnoxiously filthy. The man pictured in James 2:2 is described in this same way. In this verse, James described two categories of people who attended the Early Church—those who were nice in appearance and those who were filthy dirty. About these categories, James wrote, “For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, and in goodly apparel, and there come also a man in vile raiment.”

That word vile at the end of this verse and the word filthiness in James 1:21 come from the same Greek word. In James 2:2, the Greek word raparian portrays a man whose body and clothes are so encrusted with filth that he emits a disgusting odor to everyone nearby. Have you ever smelled a person who stank that badly? Take just one whiff of that kind of stench, and you’ll never want to smell it again!

This is the same Greek word James uses in James 1:21 when he describes believers who have bad attitudes! In other words, when a believer is being pessimistic, downbeat, negative, uncooperative, gloomy, cynical, or indifferent, it just flat stinks! Whew! Nothing stinks worse than an attitude of a grumpy and pessimistic person. In fact, a person with a bad attitude emits such a distasteful aroma that it will literally drive people away from him! This person has to make the decision to “lay apart all filthiness”—which in this case is not referring to dirty clothes, but the stinking and repulsive attitudes he carries in his life.

 

Because James uses the word raparian in James 1:21, the verse could be translated:

“In light of what I’ve told you, it’s time for you to remove those stinking, foul-smelling, putrid, rank garments….”

When my wife and I were young in the ministry, a man attended our church who never learned proper hygiene when he was growing up. His hair was dirty; his face was unshaved; his skin was encrusted with dirt; and his clothes smelled like something had died in them.

Because we loved this man, we decided to take him into our home to teach him hygiene. We grabbed our noses, held our breath, and took him to our house so he could get cleaned up. I coaxed him into the shower, and afterwards he came out looking nice and clean. But then he reached over, picked up his same old, dirty clothes, and put them back on again!

As I watched this newly cleaned man put on his filthy clothes, I thought, That’s just what a lot of Christians do! Jesus’ blood washes and cleanses us, and God gives us a new robe of righteousness. But many people were reared in negative, faithless environments and were never taught God’s Word. These Christians have walked in these negative attitudes for so long that it has become a part of their thinking. Yes, Jesus has washed and cleansed them by His blood and showered them with His grace and power. But those wrong attitudes have been a part of their lives for so long that they are still tempted to reach down, pick them up again, put them on, snap them back in place, and keep acting the same old way they did before they were saved.

These people are inwardly changed, but their old thinking patterns have become a bad habit. Therefore, they still wear those old, filthy attitudes, even though those negative attitudes are no longer consistent with the clean, new condition of their inner man.

For people who fit this description, it will take a strong act of determination for them to stay free of those old encumbrances. That’s why it’s so important to understand the words “lay apart” (see January 6). In Greek, these words describe someone deliberately laying down wrong attitudes and then pushing them so far out of range that he isn’t able to reach down to pick them up again.

Before you get too busy today, why don’t you take a few minutes to ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there are any stinking attitudes from the past that you’re still carrying around in your life? I guarantee you that He will reveal them to you—and then He will give you the power to remove these foul-smelling, negative attitudes from your life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for washing me with the blood of Jesus and for making me brand new. Forgive me for clinging to my old ways of thinking and of doing things. Today I ask You to help me drop those old habits and attitudes and to never pick them up again. By myself, this would be almost impossible, but I know that by Your power, I can walk free. Right now, I release those old attitudes and habits that I’ve been carrying around with me for so long. I ask You to help me think and behave in a way that’s consistent with the new creature in Jesus Christ You have made me to be!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I declare by faith that I am free from wrong habits and attitudes from my past. I have laid them down, and I am fee of them forever. Now I have the mind of Christ, the power of the Spirit, and the fruit of Jesus Christ working inside my life.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. What attitudes have you been harboring that are repulsive or offensive to God and that you know need to change? Make a list so you can pray about these wrong attitudes.
  2. What do you need to do to drop those foul-smelling attitudes from your life?
  3. Is there a person you need to forgive or a past situation you need to forget in order to really be free? Be honest with yourself as you search your heart.

 

God Has Promised To Supply All Our Needs

That’s what worries me, because His idea of “needs” may not square with my idea of “wants”.

Godliness with contentment is a great means of gainIf we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6, 8)

My problem is that I not only want food and covering, but also a full menu of choices as to what kind of food… and covering He is to supply. Israel had the same problem:

In their heart they put God to the test, by asking for food according to their desire.” (Psalm 78:18)

Then there is the problem of wanting to be rich:

“Those who desire to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction… ” (1 Timothy 6:9)

I wonder if our appetite for wealth has something to do with our desire to have more than one day’s provision at a time. Christ taught us to pray for “daily bread.” (See Matthew 6:11) In supplying the Israelites with manna, God allowed them to pick up only one days provision at a time. If they attempted more, the manna rotted! (See Exodus 16:20). Obviously, God was dealing with their greed and teaching them to trust Him one day at a time.

So, what does “godliness with contentment” mean? Try this:

“That I will view work as a sacred trust and responsibility. That I will conscientiously seek to provide for my family while balancing the other legitimately competing demands in my life (family, church, ministry, personal growth, etc.). I will then rest the issue of income and standard of living with Him. I and my family will determine to be content with however and with whatever He chooses to provide (whether it is a day’s provision at a time, or a year’s).

COVETOUSNESS IS DISCONTENTEDLY WANTING AND EVEN DEMANDING AS A RIGHT THAT GOD ALLOW ME TO LIVE AT A LEVEL THAT CATERS TO MY WANTS. When these “rights” are not met, I become discontent… even angry. AND WITH THAT GOD IS NOT WELL PLEASED.