Go Ahead – Let Him Do It!

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2.13

I entered Bible College in 1957 and met a lot of new friends. I was challenged by a fellow student to adopt a life verse. So, one day I heard someone quote the verse above, and I thought, “That’s it! That’s my life verse.” I have never forgotten the verse and my commitment to govern my life by it.

The thing that amazes me day after day is that the God of this universe chooses every day to care about MY life. I can’t tell you how many times I have wondered, “Why me, Lord?” I have so little to offer God. The only thing I have to give God is “me.” And yet, I have discovered over and over since that day early in 1957 that every time I allow God to be in control, my life goes so much easier. God actually WANTS to work in me. He can take my nothing and make it into a usable vessel. And that is all God wants, to be able to use me for His glory. I recall the words of Dr. Bob Jones Sr. who said, “The greatest ability is availability.” Are YOU available to God? Have you told Him that?

God wants to do two things through His children: (1) to exercise His will through us, and (2) to do of His good pleasure. I wonder if we can embrace the idea of God doing His pleasure in us? Have you ever thought that you could bring pleasure to God? The only way that can happen in any of us is for us to take our hands completely off our lives and give God total control. That is not a once-for-all decision. It requires of us that we do it every day. That may seem monotonous to you, but it is very pleasing to God. Go ahead! Try it! I think you will like it! Just my thoughts …


Who Do YOU Run To?

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11.28

When I awoke this morning and read this verse, it was like God was saying to me, “This is for you, Jerry.” And you know what dear friend this is for you too. How many times have we started a day, only to discover that it is going to be one of “those” days when nothing goes right, everything requires a do-over, and we are at wit’s end before the day ever gets started? That’s when this verse cries out to us.

It is important to notice who is saying these thing. It is the Son of God Himself. He says to you and me, “Come unto me … ” How personally fulfilling to realize that the God of the universe wants to take time today to spend with me? Don’t think for a moment that God does not know what you are going through. He hears the faintest cry of desperation. He knows when Satan is trying to defeat us. And He cares. Just to know that He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities brings a sense of peace that can come from no other source.

all ye that labour and are heavy laden … ” it doesn’t matter what kind of labour or what kind of burden we are dealing with, God says, “Come unto me … ” When a child is hurt or fearful, their first response is to find the nearest place of safety. God is saying, “I am here. Just run to me.” He doesn’t qualify the labor or the burden; He simply says, “Give it to me.” There is no so big that God can’t handle it and there is no burden that He cannot carry.

I will give you rest.” This is a resolute promise, “I WILL give you rest.” Has God ever not kept a promise He made to you? Just as surely, He will keep this one too! Just my thoughts …

Fear vs. Trust

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29.25

We believers often get this backwards. We fear the Lord and put our trust in man. We have every reason not to trust man, but we do it anyway. We have every reason to trust the Lord, but seem to falter when it comes to absolute trust. When you and I fear man, what does that mean? It means we value the thoughts and opinions of man over the truths of God, and allow that to sidetrack us in trusting the Lord. The only thing man knows how to do is sin, even the believer. Our minds are subject to the attacks of Satan and that will cloud our thinking.

So what does it mean to put our trust in the Lord? It means we trust Him with our thought life. It means we trust Him with the attitudes we embrace. It means we trust Him before we react to a situation – whether positive or negative. It means we roll over onto Him all of our burdens as 1 Peter 5.7 declares we should do: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

So what is your plan for the rest of today? Is it your desire to TRUST the Lord in ALL things? Then do it without trying to figure out whether God is right or not. Solomon says that a proper view of God will bring us wisdom and wisdom is taking what we know and applying it to the present situation. Since God is able to exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask of Him or even think of asking Him, let’s allow Him the right to do that because we trust Him. Just my thoughts …

Liberty vs. License

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3.17

Someone asked a little girl a question once: “Can you explain the Trinity to me?” To which she replied, “Sure I can. It’s two in one and one in three and the one in the middle died for me.” That’s a pretty good explanation. Some people struggle understanding the Trinity. The verse above tells us that “the Lord is that Spirit.” The key thought here is “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Again, some people confuse liberty with license.

There are some believers who take great liberty with their lifestyle. “After all, now that I am a believer, I can do anything I want, since I have eternal security.” That is confusing license with liberty. License says, “I can do anything I want. Liberty says, “I want to do only those that glorify God.” So, let’s dig a little deeper into restricting my actions that will glorify God.

There should be no wondering about our lives glorifying God. When we are faithful in reading His Word, the Holy Spirit will point out the things that will glorify God, and what will not. “But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for that showed it, and not for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: 29Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that which I gave thanks? 31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things, seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians10:28-33)

Over the years, I have gone to these verses to remind myself that my liberty in Christ is not a license to live like the world. Just my thoughts …

So, Is It His Way or Our Way?

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16.9

One of the things that we who follow Christ must be concerned about is our daily focus on life. What does that mean? If a man’s heart devises his way, then we must give attention to this truth and give the Holy Spirit permission to give guide us each day. This is not a once-for-all one-time action. It requires daily surrender of our will to His will. You may be thinking that is too much bother, but the alternative is to devise our own way and that can and will take us down a wrong path. I believe so often we think that we can handle this all by ourselves. But the truth of the matter is this. We soon begin to think we know better than God, and that is a dangerous place to be. When we are willing to accept God’s attributes, we soon realize that Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence are attributes designed to help u, and not to hurt us. When we give attention to who is writing these words, we realize these words are the words of one who is said to be the wisest men to live, apart from Jesus Christ. So, in my mind, I want to listen when a man of his character speaks.

but the LORD directeth his steps.” Psalm 119.105 states: “Thy word is a lamp to my, and a light to my path.” Psalm 199.11 says: “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Reading the word of God is much more than a suggestion. To NOT do so is to set ourselves to fail and it is our fault, not God’s. As mentioned above, a daily surrender of our will to His will is the guarantee that we are headed in the right direction. Just my thoughts …


How Well Will You Sleep Tonight?

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me to dwell in safety.” Psalm 4.8

I think most of us would agree that we liv in a world of uncertainty. It seems that every day we ready of a shooting in a school, in some public place where there are hundreds of people, or anyone of other scenarios that speak of uncertainty in the places where we live. The psalmist here speaks words of great confidence as he tells us about his God. Observe: “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep … ” Most of us, before we go to bed at   night, make certain the doors are all locked. When we part our cars in a public place, we make certain that we lock the doors. Why? Because we live in a world that we consider unsafe – for us and for our families.

In order to able to lie down at night and sleep, we must have a level of confidence that tells us that we will be safe once we pillow our heads. David is the author of this Psalm, and most every night when he pillowed his head, he did so in a place where his sheep were grazing. His task was to protect those sheep, whatever the cost. How can he have such confidence? He gives us the answer: “for thou, LORD, only makest me to dwell in safety.” What did David know each night when he pillowed his head? He knew that the God he served was with him every moment of every day and night. Not only was he confident that God was with him; he also knew that his God could rescue him from any opposing force, no matter how strong that force appeared to be. David’s God was omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscience, meaning that NOTHING ever surprised him.

Do you think we can also have that level of confidence that David expresses here? I say, yes indeed, because David’s God is also OUR God. The confidence he displays here is the same confidence that you and I can display no matter who our enemy is or how strong he seems to be. Let’s look carefully at this God we serve and learn how to live our lives so that we can “both lay (us) down in peace, and sleep.” Just my thoughts …

Hope Is Good!

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15.4

What priceless truth is contained in this verse? Some believers have the idea that since the Old Testament was directed to the Jews, they don’t think they need to read it. There is a difference in what is written FOR us and what is written TO us. For example, the Psalms were not written to us, but we can certainly learn about our Heavenly Father by reading them.

Let’s take a close look at this first phrase: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning … ” If you think you are ok without the Psalms, go ahead, overlook them, but I find great comfort in Psalm 23, Psalm 37, and so many more. David and the other writers give us a lot of insight into prayer. The writer here is the Apostle Paul. Before he came to Christ in salvation, he was a “Pharisee of the Pharisees.” He knew the Old Testament as well as you know what is your wallet or purse. So, these are not empty words.

Now this last phrase addresses a lot of issues in our lives. “that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Are you noticing the Holy Spirit’s choice of words here? Patience and comfort of the scriptures are directed to us. Let’s take them to heart. God does not intend for us to irritable all the time – that often comes through stress. God wants to comfort us, but sometimes we just “want to do it ourselves.” Make a note to yourself. Anytime God offers comfort, take it. I think all of us have seen pictures of a newborn baby snuggling up to mommy. Why? Because he feels safe there. If the arms of a mother or father can bring a sense of comfort, do we think the arms of God are any less a place of comfort? And this comfort allows us to have hope. Think on these things. These are just my thoughts …

Real Hope? Yes!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1.3

What is a lively hope? So often we read Scripture without giving any thought to what we have just read. Peter reminds us that when we were born again, we were born unto a lively hope. One translation uses the word living for lively. This hope that we have is a living reality. Peter speaks of something I doubt we think about often. Look at these words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … ” What does it mean to bless God? How about this … we bless God when we give our total allegiance to Him and we do so from a heart that is overwhelmed by His goodness, grace, and mercy.

This new life that we are enjoying is a product of God’s abundant mercy. Let’s remember that mercy is not getting what we deserve. The very act of being begotten into the family of God should stir up within us a sense of total freedom from the Law and a freedom to act in grace to those we encounter every day. Why would we not want to share this living hope? There are so many people that we encounter on a daily basis who are living lives totally void of any hope whatsoever.

The “resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” sealed for us this living hope and all we had to do was to accept it. The next time you ponder the resurrection of Christ from the dead, just remember that without His resurrection, you and I have nothing but an empty hope rather than a living hope. I shudder to think of my life without this living hope. Just my thoughts …

Man of Sorrows? Despised? Why?

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; for he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53.3

Every time I read Isaiah 53, my heart is so moved by the description of Christ that is given. This verse may be the capstone of them all. The opening words prick my heart: “He is despised and rejected of men … ” This word “despised” is such a graphic word to be used here. When someone says, “I despise you,” we know that is a strong statement of dislike. But then, the unsaved world in general doesn’t have any good feelings about Jesus. They reject the Son of God for many reasons, but chiefly because they don’t want to have to face their sin.

But Isaiah goes on: “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief … ” The hymn Man of Sorrows is such a powerful song. This great hymn by Philip Bliss takes us to the cross. Take a look at its words:

  1. “Man of Sorrows!” what a name
    For the Son of God, who came
    Ruined sinners to reclaim.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  2. Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
    In my place condemned He stood;
    Sealed my pardon with His blood.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  3. Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
    Spotless Lamb of God was He;
    “Full atonement!” can it be?
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  4. Lifted up was He to die;
    “It is finished!” was His cry;
    Now in Heav’n exalted high.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  5. When He comes, our glorious King,
    All His ransomed home to bring,
    Then anew His song we’ll sing:
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Mankind hid their faces from him. And then that word despised is repeated. And then the verse closes: “and we esteemed him not.” In other words, no one cared. And why? To accept Christ as the Son of God means we must see ourselves as God sees us and before salvation, that is not a pretty picture. So let’s consider ourselves blessed because we are able to look back at the cross, and these poignant words of Isaiah and say, “No more. He is NOT despised by me and I DO care about the world feels about Him.” Just my thoughts …


Whose God Is This?

Know therefore that the LORD thy God , he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7.9

These words were addressed to Moses as he was preparing the people to enter the Promised Land. They had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness and it had been difficult for Moses for a lot of reasons. While Moses does not get to go into the Promised Land, he will take them to the bring and give them over to Joshua.

Give attention to how God starts this conversation: “Know therefore that the LORD thy God , he is God … ” we might ask why God is reminding Moses of this truth? Think back to the time when God told Moses to take a message back to the children of Israel. Moses asked God, “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? 14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3.13-14)

In the passage quoted above, God is once again giving His servant some words of assurance. God says to him “the Lord thy God, he is God.” Moses was being assured that his God was THE God. Not only is He THE God, He is “the faithful God … ” Guess what? This God who was assuring Moses that He was THE God is also OUR God. Take heart … Moses did.

This is the God who “ keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him … ”This covenant making God has never broken His covenant with anyone. And He won’t start now. God wants something in return from His children. He wants us to (1) love Him and (2) keep His commandments. Is that too much for God to ask of Israel or us? I think not. Just my thoughts …