VIDEO CHAOS – Isaiah 45:7

CHAOS

The Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. Isaiah 45:18, NLT

When flight attendants walked off their jobs in 1993, the movement became known as CHAOS: “Create Havoc Around Our System,” a phrase other unions have adopted. Sometimes that term applies to our lives as well. Life has so many moving parts and difficult problems we’re often overwhelmed with havoc. But God perfectly orders all things and knows how to bring stability and serenity to each day.

Ponder the angelic armies patrolling the unseen skies. According to the Bible, there are thousands upon thousands of angels, organized into vast hosts or armies, filling the heavens and earth, operating in both the seen and unseen realms.

The God of heavenly beings is able to bring organization into your life too. If you’ve unraveled at the edges, consider this alternative acronym for CHAOS: Christ Has All Our Solutions. The God who created the heavens and put everything in its place knows how to bring order and usefulness to your life. He doesn’t want you to live in chaos, but in Christ.

Statesmanship and diplomacy have failed. The only remedy is Jesus Christ. It is either Christ or Chaos. David Lloyd George, former British Prime Minister


Isaiah 45:7 – Short Film

Catching Foxes

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards. Song of Solomon 2:15

While talking on the phone with a friend who lives by the seaside, I expressed delight at hearing seagulls squawking. “Vile creatures,” she responded, for to her they’re a daily menace. As a Londoner, I feel the same way about foxes. I find them not cute animals but roaming creatures that leave smelly messes in their wake.

Foxes appear in the love poetry of the Song of Solomon, an Old Testament book that reveals the love between a husband and wife and, some commentators believe, between God and His people. The bride warns about little foxes, asking her bridegroom to catch them (2:15). For foxes, hungry for the vineyard’s grapes, could tear the tender plants apart. As the bride looks forward to their married life together, she doesn’t want vermin disturbing their covenant of love.

How can “foxes” disturb our relationship with God? For me, when I say “yes” to too many requests, I can become overwhelmed and unpleasant. Or when I witness relational conflict, I can be tempted to despair or anger. As I ask the Lord to limit the effect of these “foxes”—those I’ve let in through an open gate or those that have snuck in—I gain in trust of and love for God as I sense His loving presence and direction.

How about you? How can you seek God’s help from anything keeping you from Him?

Lord God, You are powerful and You are good. Please protect my relationship with You, keeping out anything that would take my eyes off You.

God can guard our relationship with Him.

By Amy Boucher Pye 

INSIGHT

Although the author is not specifically named, Song of Songs is traditionally attributed to Solomon, who is mentioned in 1:1, 5; 3:7, 9, 11; 8:11, 12 and who is referred to as “King Solomon” in 3:9–11. Therefore, this book is also called “The Song of Solomon.” Solomon composed 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32), but this song is deemed to be “the best”—hence the appropriate title “Solomon’s Song of Songs” (1:1). It is one of two biblical books (the other is Esther) where God isn’t mentioned explicitly. Some interpret Song of Songs as an allegory of Christ’s love for the church; others consider it to be a poem describing the romance and relationship of two passionate lovers. Rich in nature metaphors—“Your eyes are doves” (1:15); “My beloved is like a gazelle” (2:9); “The little foxes that ruin the vineyards” (v. 15)—the song celebrates sexual love and physical intimacy within the bonds of marriage (4:8–5:1). Together husband and wife wield out “the foxes” (2:15), removing anything that threatens their loving union or hurts the exclusivity of their marriage.

K. T. Sim

A Root of Bitterness

Hebrews 12:12-15

If you’ve ever tried to get rid of weeds in your lawn or garden, you know what a big problem they can be. You pull them out, and everything looks really good for a while, but before long, the unwanted growth returns because the roots are still there.
An unforgiving spirit is like a root branching out in all directions, affecting every area of our life. Lopping off the leaves by repressing the pain and resentment isn’t a long-term solution, because like a weed, bitterness can continue to grow and reproduce as long as roots are in place.

When we’ve been deeply hurt, we sometimes resist offering forgiveness, thinking that a pardon excuses the wrongdoer and downplays the severity of the wrong done to us. But that’s not what forgiveness is—it’s letting go of both the offense and our right to demand payment, with the acknowledgment that vengeance is God’s responsibility, not ours (Rom. 12:17-21).

Stubbornly refusing to forgive may seem like a way to get even, but it’s actually a poison that harms us. It hampers our ability to enjoy life and, like any sin, erodes our fellowship with the Lord. Unforgiveness could even affect our health, resulting in physical illness, anxiety, or depression.

But roots of bitterness don’t stop with us; they reach into our relationships, causing trouble and defiling others (Heb. 12:15). An unforgiving spirit hinders our ability to love, poisoning the atmosphere in homes and workplaces.

Isn’t it time to deal with that root of bitterness? Lay down your grievances and refuse to rehearse your hurts. Then fill your mind with positive things instead—namely, truths about the Lord.

Dark Waters and Thick Clouds Will Come

“And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.” (2 Samuel 22:11-12) 

This mysterious passage in David’s song of deliverance (also in Psalm 18) is usually classified by commentators as mere poetic hyperbole. However, it may also be taken literally, if we only assume that David was translated by the Holy Spirit (who “spake by me”—2 Samuel 23:2) far back in time to the great Flood, seeing in vision the Lord in great power unleashing the mighty waters of judgment on a corrupt world, yet delivering Noah through it all. David had a similar vision when he wrote Psalm 29, which speaks explicitly of the Noahic Flood (Hebrew mabbul, v. 10).

In our text above, the Hebrew word for “wind” is the same as “spirit,” so this phrase could refer to “the wings of the Spirit.” In the Bible’s first reference to “the Spirit of God” (Genesis 1:2), He is seen as “moving” in the presence of the primeval waters, the word being the same as that for the fluttering movement of the wings of a great bird. This vibrating motion implies the generating of mighty waves of energy flowing out from the Spirit to energize the newly created cosmos of Genesis 1:1. Similarly, the divine energy emanates again from the Spirit here at the Flood, but this time in destructive rather than creative power.

The references to waters and darkness in these and nearby verses may well refer to the condensation and precipitation of the extensive canopy suggested by the “waters which were above the firmament” (Genesis 1:7), when great torrents of rain suddenly poured through “the sluiceways of heaven,” continuing at highest intensity for 40 days, then at lesser intensity for 110 more days, until the “thick clouds” were emptied and the great Flood covered the whole earth. HMM

Best To Stand fast in the Lord

Philippians 4

Philippians 4:1

He pleads with these two good women to end their differences. The worst results may arise from a quarrel, even when there are only two engaged in it, and those two are women.

Philippians 4:4

We cannot have too much holy rejoicing; we are to joy and re-joy, and then to rejoice again. See that this be done in this house all day long. Alas, none can truly rejoice but those who are in the Lord! Are we all in him?

Philippians 4:6

Be not careful, but prayerful. Prayer is the cure for care.

Philippians 4:7, 8

Here is a mass of matter for thought. Take each word and study it, and then put it in practice. Every member of the family should learn this verse by heart; it is much in little, a catalogue of the practical virtues.

Philippians 4:9-14

Paul knew how to be poor, but he did not know how to be ungrateful. True ministers will work for the Lord, however badly their people may support them, yet it is well to treat them generously, and win their gratitude, for their Master is pleased when his servants are kindly used for his sake. Is there any deed of love which we can do for our pastor?

Philippians 4:15-19

This is a grand assurance. God is the giver, his infinite glory is the store, Jesus is the channel, and the supply knows no limit. What more can the most expanded desires wish for? This promissory note from the Bank of Faith makes all believers rich beyond a miser’s dream.

Philippians 4:23

Thus with an affectionate wish this fragrant letter of love comes to its close. May more of the tender spirit which it breathes be found in each one of us.

 

Decide To Rejoice or Grumble

Ye greatly rejoice… though you are in heaviness through manifold temptations. (1 Peter 1:6)

I think all of us meet Christian men and women who always seem to look on the gloomy side and are never able to do anything with life’s problems but grumble about them! I meet them often and when I do, I wonder: “Can these people be reading and trusting the same Bible I have been reading?”

The Apostle Peter wrote to the tempted, suffering and persecuted believers in his day and noted with thanksgiving that they could rejoice because they counted God’s promises and provisions greater than their trials!

We do live in a sinful and imperfect world, and as believers in Christ we acknowledge that perfection is a relative thing now—and God has not really completed a thing with us, as yet!

Peter testified that the persecuted and suffering Christians of his day were looking, in faith, to a future state of things immeasurably better than that which they knew, and that state of things would be perfect and complete!

 

Heavenly Wealth

“No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Ps. 84:11

Many pleasing things the Lord may withhold, but no good thing.” He is the best judge of what is good for us. Some things are assuredly good, and these we may have for the asking through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Holiness is a good thing, and this He will work in us freely. Victory over evil tendencies, strong tempers, and evil habits, He will gladly grant, and we ought not to remain without it.

Full assurance He will bestow, and near communion with Himself, and access into all truth, and boldness with prevalence at the mercy seat. If we have not these, it is from want of faith to receive, and not from any unwillingness of God to give. A calm, a heavenly frame, great patience, and fervent love — all these will He give to holy diligence.

But note well that we must “walk uprightly.” There must be no cross purposes and crooked dealings; no hypocrisy nor deceit. If we walk foully God cannot give us favors, for that would be a premium upon sin. The way of uprightness is the way of heavenly wealth — wealth so large as to include every good thing.

What a promise to plead in prayer! Let us get to our knees.

 

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