VIDEO Well Ordered

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.  Psalm 37:23

Divine coincidence is an economic theory referring “to the property of New Keynesian models that there is no trade-off between the stabilization of inflation and of the welfare-relevant output gap … for central banks.”

Don’t worry if you don’t understand that; economists don’t either!

Nor can we talk about “divine coincidence” in a biblical sense. The word coincidence implies randomness and chance. But there are no coincidences for God’s children.

Instead, let’s talk about divine ordering. God personally orders and arranges our steps. Nothing happens to us by accident. Even adverse incidents become part of His long-term strategy for our good. The God of the universe is keenly involved in our lives.

According to 2 Chronicles 8:16, Solomon built the temple of the Lord according to a master blueprint: “Now all the work of Solomon was well-ordered from the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord until it was finished.”

You are God’s temple, and His blueprint for your life leaves nothing to chance.

How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people’s interests which He does not consider, and there is nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to Him.  Charles H. Spurgeon


Psalm 37 with Pastor Tom Fuller

Healing Words

Today's Devotional

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24

 

A recent study has shown that encouraging words from a health-care provider can help patients recuperate faster from their ailments. A simple experiment exposed volunteer study participants to a skin allergen to make them itch and then compared the reactions between those who received assurance from their physician and those who didn’t. Patients who received encouragement from their doctors had less discomfort and itching than their counterparts.

The writer of Proverbs knew how important encouraging words are. “Gracious words” bring “healing to the bones,” he wrote (Proverbs 16:24). The positive effect of words isn’t limited to our health: when we heed the wisdom of instruction, we’re also more likely to prosper in our efforts (v. 20). So too encouragement buoys us for the challenges we face now and may encounter in the future.

We may not yet fully understand why or even how much wisdom and encouragement bring strength and healing to our daily lives. Yet the cheers and guidance of our parents, coaches, and colleagues seem to help us endure difficulty and steer us toward success. Similarly, the Bible brings us encouragement when we face trials, equipping us to bear up under even the most unthinkable circumstances. Help us, God, to be strengthened by Your wisdom and to, in turn, offer the healing and hope of “gracious words” to those You’ve placed in our lives.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

Who has spoken “gracious words” into your life? Why is it vital for you to share words of encouragement with others?

Dear Father, thank You for Your words of healing and hope.

Why We Must Guard the Heart

Psalm 139:17-24
We all have things we treasure, whether they are prize objects, activities, or experiences. And what we most value is what is closest to our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us to keep watch over our heart because it holds our treasures, and in it is potential for good or evil. Originally, the heart is full of wickedness (Jer. 17:9), but when it is purified, we are able to see the very face of God (Matt. 5:8). With such possibilities within us, is it any wonder that we are exhorted to employ all diligence in guarding our heart?

So how do we remove the impurities and uncover those secrets of the heart spoken of in Psalm 44:21? The answer is through our omniscient Father. He knows what litters the landscape of our hearts. He tells us in Revelation 2:23 that “I am He who searches the minds and hearts” and again in Hebrews 4:13 that “all things are open and laid bare” to His eyes.

Our role in all of this is to ask the Lord for help. We may not know what sin lies within, but He does. Like David in today’s psalm, we too can say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart … and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Some Questions About Creation

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” (Job 38:4)

In chapters 38–41 of Job is recorded a remarkable series of 77 questions about the creation—questions which God asked Job and his philosophizing friends and that they were utterly unable to answer. At the end of the searching examination, Job could only confess: “Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not” (Job 42:3). Modern evolutionists, despite all their arrogant pretensions, still are not able to answer them either, over 35 centuries later!

But there is one who can answer them, and His answers echo back from another ancient document, the marvelous eighth chapter of Proverbs. To God’s first question, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth,” comes His answer: “When he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him” (Proverbs 8:29-30). The speaker here is the divine wisdom. He is the Word of God, the pre-incarnate Son of God, soon to become the Son of man. In this amazing chapter, He echoes an answer to the most searching of God’s inscrutable questions to Job and his friends:

“Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth?” (Job 38:8). “He set a compass [literally ‘sphericity’] upon the face of the depth:…When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment” (Proverbs 8:27, 29). “Hast thou commanded the morning…and caused the dayspring to know his place?” (Job 38:12). “When he prepared the heavens, I was there” (Proverbs 8:27).

Our Savior was there! “For by him were all things created” (Colossians 1:16). One more question: “Have the gates of death been opened unto thee?” (Job 38:17). Yes, and they have not prevailed! “For whoso findeth me findeth life,…all they that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:35-36). HMM

Lord Teach Me to Listen

And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

—1 Samuel 3:10

 

Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, “Speak, for thy servant heareth.” Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking voice. Amen.   POG078

“Speak, for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

 

God’s Book—Fresh as the Dew

Ye received the word of God…not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.

—1 Thessalonians 2:13

 

There isn’t anything dated in the Book of God. When I go to my Bible, I find dates but no dating. I mean that I find the sense and the feeling that everything here belongs to me….

When the Holy Spirit wrote the epistles, through Peter and Paul and the rest, He wrote them and addressed them to certain people and then made them so universally applicable that every Christian who reads them today in any part of the world, in any language or dialect, forgets that they were written to someone else and says, “This was addressed to me. The Holy Spirit had me in mind. This is not antiquated and dated. This is the living Truth for me—now!”…

Brethren, this is why…the Word of the Lord God is as fresh as every new sunrise, as sweet and graciously fresh as the dew on the grass the morning after the clear night—because it is God’s Word to man! ICH027-028

God has given us the Book, brother, and the Book comes first. If it can’t be shown in the Book, then I don’t want anyone coming to me all aquiver and trying to tell me anything. The Bookyou must give me the Word! COU114

 

He is The Light of the World

John 8:12

The world needs light. It cannot exist or survive without it. The world without Christ is a world of darkness. Without Christ the world is in philosophical darkness. He alone is the fulfillment of the philosopher’s quest. Without Christ the world is in sociological darkness. He alone teaches the higher laws of love that contribute to true brotherhood and peace. Without Christ the world is in spiritual darkness. He alone can save man from the dark night of sin.

Light is the great revealer. The most beautiful flowers, the most majestic mountains are obscured in inky blackness until they are rescued from the night and bathed in the sunlight.

At the Academia in Florence, Italy, are Michelangelo’s great works of sculpture, including his magnificent David. Also on exhibit are unfinished statuary which revealed by their chisel marks the method of Michelangelo’s sculpting. His concept was that he unveiled what was already in the marble, cutting away the superfluities, giving to the world his Pieta or an angel that he saw in a rough piece of marble. Christ releases from its imprisoned splendor the divine qualities within a life and reveals by His light the otherwise hidden glory and beauty of the divine imprint.

Light permeates. It travels at its phantom speed of 186,000 miles a second. It is unhindered by space and time. Christ transcends the barriers of time and space. He is nearer than our dearest one on earth.

Light is pure. Water may start out as a pure spring but too soon it becomes impure when it comes close to man’s habitations. The wind and air become contaminated with man’s toxic chemicals. But light may shine through the most foul medium and yet remain impeccably pure. Christ mingled amid earth’s moral pollution and yet remained pure.

Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the light of the world,” (John 8:12) and “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). How do we reconcile these two sayings?

Every student of astronomy knows that there are two orders of luminaries. There is that which is its own source of light. The sun is of this order. Then there is the luminary which catches and reflects light from another source. The moon is that kind of luminary. Without the light of the sun it would be a sterile, dark ball in a midnight sky. But catching the radiance of the sun, it becomes a glowing, luminous body up in our sky.

Our light is a borrowed ray from the Son of Righteousness. And our lives can catch His radiance and reflect it in a darkened world.

Henry Gariepy, Portraits of Christ