ENOUGH – That’s My God!

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalm 18.2

There are so many word pictures in this verse. Let’s see if we can put a face on them that will help us appreciate and love our God more.

(1)The LORD is my rock – when I think of a rock like what David is referring to here, I think of the Rock of Gibraltar. An insurance company has built their reputation on that word picture. When you think of a rock that size, would you FEEL secure just standing on it?

(2) The LORD is my fortress – I remember building a fortress out of snow when I was a kid. That was fun. But when I think of the LORD as my fortress and I link His omnipotence with that picture, no oncoming foe can defeat me.

(3) The LORD is my deliverer – remember those times as a kid when we used to say, “My dad can beat up your dad”? We felt pretty safe when we knew dad would watch out for us. As a Christ follower, I can get myself into some pretty tough spots. But the LORD is my DELIVERER.

(4) The LORD is my God – think about Paul’s statement in Philippians 4.19 where he says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Can you envision David and Paul saying, “He’s MY God, who is yours?” This God is THE God and He is OUR God.

(5) The LORD is my strength – do you remember what it is like to fail? And do you remember doing something for God at which you thought you might fail, but didn’t? That is when God was YOUR strength.

(6) The LORD is the One in whom I will trust – everyone else around me may fail me, and leave me desperate, BUT the Lord is my Strength. He is THERE just when we need Him most.

(7) The LORD is my buckler – we have looked at word in the past. It means He is the One who protects or shields me when I am under Satan’s attack. He is the PERFECT defender.

(8) The LORD is the horn of my salvation – have you ever heard someone say, “You can hang your hat on that” meaning it was a sure thing? All of the other characteristics at which we have looked can be hung on the horn of our salvation because IT is a sure thing.

(9) The LORD is my high tower – a high tower in David’s day was a rock tower built out of the ricks from land that was cleared for crops. It was placed in the middle of the field so if an enemy or a charging animal were to attack someone, he/she could run to that high (strong) tower and find protection.

Let’s face it folks. God is EVERYTHING that we will ever need. Just my thoughts …


He Can’t Not Write It Down!

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6.10

It seems unnecessary to state the obvious, but that is what the author does here: “God is not unrighteous … ” God can NEVER be unrighteous, so that which is about to follow must be of great significance. Here it is: “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love … ” What does this mean for us? God will never forget the work we do for Him and the labor of love that we display in our lives. ANY work done for God ever goes unnoticed.

This work and labor of love is something that we “have showed toward his name … ” In other words, all that we have done in obedience to the Spirit’s direction is showing God that we are serious about the life He has given us to live down here. We have decided that our lives are NOT about us, but they are ALL about Him. Such a life-changing attitude gives us great liberty in the way we live everyday.

Within the context of these first phrases above, this phrase is placed along them to give significance to what He has called us to do. “ … that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” When we minister to the saints, we are fulfilling a labor of love that our Heavenly Father has placed in each one of us. We don’t minister to the saints because we MUST, but because our Heavenly Father has placed that passion deep within our spirits.

So, what does all of this mean to us today? The righteousness of God will not allow Him to overlook our work and labor of love to the saints – His children. Not only is He watching but He is also recording each action. May we rejoice in the knowledge that God is watching us because He really cares. Just my thoughts …

Is the Vessel Clean?

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 1.7

Throughout the Word of God we find references to light and darkness. So what does it mean for us to walk in the light? I believe walking in the light is a reference to our ability to continually reflect the life and light of Christ that is within each one of us. In order to enable a good reflection, we must be clean vessels – vessels that allow the light of God to shine through us and into a darkened world.

Jesus Christ is THE Light. His light in each one of us allows us to “fellowship one with another.” Frequently I have heard people who are profession Christians say something like this: “I have a relationship to God through His Son, but I don’t need the church. I can get along just fine without going.” One of the primary reasons for attending church is to have fellowship one with another. We may go for other reasons as well, but it is comforting to be around others in our “spiritual family” who can encourage us and we can be an encouragement to them.

What is the basis for this fellowship? “ … the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” We are all blood-bought sinners and we need to spend time with “family”. Blood-bought sinners have a story to tell, a life to share, and a need for fellowship with other blood-bought sinners. Take time today to reach out to someone who is a fellow believer, and ask God how you can be a blessing to him or her. If God lays someone on your heart, do what the Spirit prompts you to do. Just my thoughts …

I Can – But Only in Him

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16.33

What does the term “overcomer” say to you? I think of someone who has been through a great deal of trials and they have been able to overcome them and not let their trials define them.

When Jesus speaks to us in this verse, He mentions several things that demand our attention: (1) He wants us to have peace; (2) we are going to have tribulation as long as we live down here on this earth; (3) the good news is that He has overcome the world.

Peace is not the ABSENCE of trials, but it is the calm spirit that God gives us as He walks through those trials with us. Jesus is reminding His followers of something He has already told them. How many times must He do that with us, too?

Tribulation can take many forms in our lives. It can be health issues, financial woes, family issues, job loss, etc. We could probably make a much longer list. But if we pay attention to what Jesus is saying here, we know that at some point in life, we WILL experience tribulation.

If we didn’t know better we would think that Jesus is speaking in a figurative sense here when He says, “ … be of good cheer … ” But this is NOT figurative language. It is quite the contrary. Jesus is reminding us that we have EVERY REASON to be of good cheer. And what is that reason?

I have overcome the world.” We don’t have to overcome the world in our own meager strength. Jesus has already overcome the world FOR US. I wonder sometimes when I allow myself to be defeated by a circumstance that God allowed to come into my life. I immediately try to figure out a way that I can fix it. How foolish of me. Jesus, my Redeemer, my constant Companion, and my Overcomer, has ALREADY overcome the world – including the thing that is troubling me at that moment. I want to spend time with this Overcomer so that I can be victorious in HIS strength – and not my own. Just my thoughts …

Interesting Word – Therefore

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. 2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.” Psalm 116.1-2

I love the LORD, because … ” How would you finish the sentence? Because (1) He gives me everything I want; (2) He keeps food in the house; (3) He pays my bills … you get the idea. How about “I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.” I can’t think of ANYTHING more refreshing and rewarding than this heart-calming truth. He hears MY voice and YOUR voice when we pray. He hears us when we cry out to Him in supplication. What is supplication? It is an appeal made to somebody in authority and there is no GREATER authority than our Heavenly Father.

Can you picture this in your mind: “ … he hath inclined his ear unto me … ” The picture that comes to my mind is one of a loving person bending an ear toward someone they love, wanting to hear every word they say. If that picture is accurate (and to me it is), I am overwhelmed to think that every time I speak His name I have His ear.

therefore … ” Remember, always see what it is there for? Any one who loves me enough to hear my voice and my supplications and to incline His ear to me wants something from me in return. What is that something? “ … therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.” Let me meddle for just a moment. When did you call on Him last? Was there any worship of Him in that prayer? Was there confession of sin in that prayer? Was there any thanksgiving in that prayer? Or was it all asking and hoping to receive? To be honest, I ask God for a lot. But in doing so, I want Him to know that I REALLY worship Him for who He is, not for what He does. Confession of sin is NOT easy but it is a NECESSARY part of our regular prayer life. Thanksgiving should be a given for all of us. Then supplication fits where it ought to go – at the end of my prayer. Just my thoughts …

It Really Is That Simple!

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6.35

In the physical realm, there are two things that every person needs. Those are something to eat and something to drink. We live in a world where many people are dying for lack of those two things.

In the spiritual realm, man’s need for these two things is equally true and Jesus addresses them both in this verse. Two amazing things have already happened in the earlier parts of this chapter. Jesus had fed 5,000 men (not including women and children) with five (5) loaves of bread and two (2) small fish. Following that amazing miracle, the disciples were attempting to go across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. A storm arose and the disciples were afraid. Suddenly they see someone walking ON the water and they were more afraid. It was Jesus and He said to them, “It is I. Be not afraid.”

Then a few verses later in the chapter, Jesus utters these words: “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life … ” The Jewish leaders tried to minimize the impact of these words by saying, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” They did not want to acknowledge the truthfulness of Jesus’ words: “I am the bread of life.” He was offering the people something these religious leaders could not give them. NO OTHER man can give you what God alone can give you.

Look now at these next works in the verse: “ … he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Do you see it? Jesus was offering them and us something that would last for eternity. It REALLY is that simple. A little later Jesus says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” I don’t know about you, but I want EVERYTHING Jesus has to offer me. Simple? Yes! Easy? Yes! Debatable? No! It simply requires faith in what Jesus has promised! Just my thoughts …

We Have Safety – Real Safety!

But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59.16

Music has played an important role in my life. As a teenager I began leading singing for a department in our church. I loved it then and I still love music today. So, when I read the words of the psalmist here, this is something that I long to do every day.

Look at these words: “… I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning … ” David was a man of music as well. In fact, many of the psalms are set to music. But what was at stake here for David? At this point in David’s life Saul wanted David dead. He sent men to his house to watch for him and kill him.

Look now at those words in the light of his life situation. He woke up each morning with a song about God’s power. That song included how grateful David was for God’s mercy. God had protected him to allow him to become the king of Israel in the future. Nothing Saul could do would short circuit God’s plan for David. And by the way, this same truth applies to us.

This last phrase is filled with hope: “ … thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” God defended David in ways that only God could do and God was his refuge – his place of safety.

Can we move these critical truths forward to our lives today? Just remember, this God of David’s is our God too. Not only does He defend us against the enemy, He is our source of refuge in our day of trouble. Your trouble may not reach the magnitude that David faced. There isn’t someone waiting outside your door to kill you when you go out. But, our enemy is very real and he “walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5.8b) Just THINK about it. Just my thoughts …

Turn Loose – Hold On!

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5.1

Stand fast … ” What does that mean? We might say something like, “Fasten your seat belt.” Or “Don’t let anyone push you away from what you know you believe.” It is interesting to take note of Paul’s context here. He is telling us to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free … ”How is it that we have freedom or liberty in Christ? Paul is warning the Galatian believers against going backward in their faith rather than forward.

The Galatian believers were struggling with going back under some of the things that the Law required of them before they were Christ followers. The liberty of which Paul spoke was the liberty found in Christ to live without the burdens of the Law. Remember that John records for us these words: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8.32)

When you and I follow the words of Jesus, we are FREE. Remember that “ … the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1.17) Matthew records these words of Jesus: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5.17)

There is a great closing line in this verse: “ … be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Once we turn loose of things that held us back from knowing Christ and/or serving Christ, we must never go back to them. When Christ saved us, He saved us FROM our sins to a liberty that can only be FOUND in Him. Let us ENJOY the freedom we have in Christ and never look back at the “yoke of bondage” that enslaved us. Just my thoughts …

God Didn’t Stutter!

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3.36

So often we read a verse and keep on going, thinking we know what it said. This verse has three (3) very clear, distinct statements. This verse does NOT say, “He who knows the historical Jesus might have some kind of life with God.” God is not stuttering here. Historical knowledge of a person or event is not the same as experiential knowledge.

I heard someone say once, “Kissing your wife on the phone is not a real kiss. There ain’t no smack in it.” Nothing beats experiencing the real thing. So many people around the world know something about the HISTORICAL Jesus, but they have never had a PERSONAL experience with Him.

Let’s examine these phrases one at a time: (1) He that believes on the Son has everlasting life. To believe on something or someone is to commit yourself so completely to it/them, knowing that if it is a wrong decision, you will suffer the consequences. This decision to believe on the Son for eternal life simply requires enough faith in God to know that He is stating truth.

(2) He that does not believe the Son shall not see life. The life of which John speaks here is ETERNAL LIFE. All of us have been created to live forever somewhere. That SOMEWHERE is based on what we have done with the person of Jesus Christ. Again, notice how emphatic this statement is: “shall not see life … ” That statement is an imperative statement. There is no room here for interpretation. It is either we accept the first statement and have eternal life or we reject the first statement and we suffer eternal damnation.

(3) The wrath of God abides on him. Any time I hear God’s wrath mentioned, I want to be as far away from that as I can. Jesus suffered the wrath of God against sin when He was on the cross. He took MY place so that I could spend eternity with Him. Anyone who rejects the cross and the One who died there WILL experience the wrath of God. That is not up for debate; it is simply a statement of truth. Where are you when it comes to accepting or rejecting Christ? I pray you have everlasting life because you have Jesus. Just my thoughts …

Watch Out! The Family is Watching!

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6.10

How many times a day do you have the opportunity to “do good unto all men … ”? We probably have more opportunities than we realize or take the time to notice. In the preceding verses Paul has been encouraging the Galatian believers to help “restore” a brother in Christ who has fallen (v.1), and to “bear one another’s burdens … ”, (v.2). Then he says that we should not be “deceived” for God will not be mocked (v.7), and in vs. 9 we read: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

And then we come to v. 10: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men … ” What would our day look like if we set out to find an opportunity to “do good unto all men … ”? The instruction is to do good unto ALL men – that includes those who are NOT part of the family of God. Maybe they are looking for someone to show them a little grace, a little mercy, a little kindness or goodness. How else will they see Christ in us, “the hope of glory … ”? (Colossians 1.27)

And then, with this final statement he drives home his central theme for this chapter: “especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” You all know how kids are in a family. They can fight and scratch each other with the best of them. But you let some outsider come along and attack one of your siblings, they better watch because the entire family is coming after them.

If the church is a family,(and it is), then we ought to be looking out for each other. We should be looking for ways to minister to those “who are of the household of faith.” After all, they ARE family. Just my thoughts …