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Friday, November 27, 2009

Psalm 119:1-16

Psa 119:1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
... Just as God called Abraham and Joshua called Israel to live completed lives, lives that are separated to God the Christian is called live the same way. Just as God fulfilled his promise of a son to Abraham He will keep His promises to the faithful today. The Jew and the Christian recognize Isaac as Abraham's son because he is the promised one. The Muslim chooses to pervert the Word of God and to recognize Ishmael. The truth is that God saw to it that after Isaac was born that Abraham was blessed with six more sons. (Gen. 25:1-2)
Psa 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
... Just as I often teach, we are not bound to live according to the Law, but by the same token the Law of the Old Testament is the model for a blessed life. A person that comes in on Sunday, impress' folks with their holy life style and lives like hell Monday morning should never expect God's blessing. Just because it is impossible to fulfill every statute does not mean that we should never seek to use it to model our lives after God.
Psa 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
... This is a hard teaching and a good deal of study is required to sort this one out. (1John 5:13-21) After having read the scriptures, these past nineteen years and with the understanding that no scripture can be understood without the light of all scripture I have come to understand that my desire and my plans were to sin until God saved me. I no longer plan to sin and as I find myself in sin I humble myself before God and repent of it. I no longer dwell there.
Psa 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
... In John 1 we learn that the God of the Old Testament is, in the flesh of the man, Jesus. In John 14:15 we see Jesus tell us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. It is not my understanding that we must, continually, obey the 613 statures of the Law but that we are to grow ever closer to doing so.
Psa 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
... The Christian, like the Psalmist, should always seek, even to covet, to be more like God.
Psa 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
... As explained by Paul in Romans 6, God has not sought to enslave us to the Law but rather has set us free to choose to live as God would have us. Picking and choosing which scriptures we will obey is not pleasing to God. In the Law we find things like not eating pork and catfish and then we find Peter learning the lesson of Rom. 14:14 and 1 Tim. 4:1-4. The dietary laws were for our health and then God made these forbidden foods clean.
Psa 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
... The writer explains here the condition of the Fulfilled Jew and the Completed Christian. The difference between the two is more national distinction than anything else because a fulfilled Jew is a Christian.
Psa 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
... I see here that the author is not foolish enough to believe that he can completely live by the law but rather that he would study them to remember them, that he might live a life separated to God. In the second half of this verse he is pleading for God to never remove the Holy Spirit from Him. This would have been normal in his time.
Psa 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
... Here we have a rhetorical question and of course he answers it. We must impress upon our children and the youth of our families and our churches the eternal rewards of living according to God's Word and the punishment of not choosing the way of God.
Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
... From the day I was saved I have prayed for God to make me like David, that I might always be seeking after the heart of God. When we seek the heart of God we will always be mindful of the rules and the principals of God.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
... In the time of Jesus one of the standards for holiness, measured by man's standards, was the ability to recite the first five books of the Bible. I believe that it is a great deal more important for an adult to know and to understand the content than it is to recite from rote memory. That being said it is critical that we teach our children to recite the scriptures, over the years these will turn into understanding and from that will be gained wisdom.
Psa 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
... Some today seem to believe that we will learn the Bible by osmosis, that is not only untrue, it is ridiculous. We can never understand how to bless God nor will we ever know the Commandments of God unless we open the Bible and read.
Psa 119:13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
... When we, like the Psalmist, have studied the Word of God, prayed and meditated upon it we will not only have the head knowledge but we should have begun to modify our lives to live a more separated life for God. When we have grown that much in our LORD people will ask us what makes us so different from most people and it is then that folks are most open to hearing the truth of the Word of God.
Psa 119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
... As the author learned the richness of the Law he found the joy of a holy life and as he found that he learned that God's Word made him richer than any with the wealth of this world.
Psa 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
... When we read the Word of God and meditate on the statutes and the principals of it we will have the utmost respect for our God and we can begin to understand His ways. As a young GI I was taught that familiarity breeds contempt. On the field of battle I learned that when my men understood me and when they understood that this was not my first battle, there was less discontent and more unquestioned obedience. They knew I was trust worthy. The same is true of becoming familiar with God and that is done through study.
Psa 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
... When we have studied for a period of time we will also find the joy of righteous living and we will never forget what and Who has brought us there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Psalm 116

Psalm 116

Praying to God

Psa 116:1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
When I was in the hospital waiting for the birth of my son I did not realize it but there were a great number of things that I would learn in the process of raising that little fellow. One of the most appreciate things I ever received from him was when he would just pop up with, “Dad, I love you.” In that line of thought I can't imagine that our Heavenly Father appreciates our proclamation of love for Him any less than I did from my son. The Psalmist appears to understand this and then goes on to explain that there are not only reasons for his love but that they are beneficial.

Psa 116:2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
God sent His own Son to pay the debt that was owed by everyone of us and His personal attention has been focused on each human I the world since before Adam stood there and watched Eve sin and then chose to follow her in that sin. On the personal level, because I have realized that God cares that much about me, like the Psalmist, I take all my troubles, my plans and my praises to God. The very thing that God desires, personal relationship, I am determined to give to Him as long as I live.

Psa 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
Here the Psalmist explains that he felt, very much, the same as a young soldier in the jungles of SE Asia in the 1960's. As a young man I watched my best friends die and become maimed by mortars, rockets and all manor of improvised devises of death and there was an immobilizing fear that could have made me useless to myself and my fallow soldiers. It is my belief that this is the type of circumstance the Psalmist is portraying here.

Psa 116:4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
It is a popular opinion that the writer called out to the LORD for Him to save his life but I did a quick check of nine translations only two say my life, both are newer versions and the rest agree with the KJV and the ASV that he went straight to the heart of the situation and asked the LORD to preserve his eternal soul. It is our eternal self, our soul, that God is most concerned with and we also should concentrate on that. That is not an easy adjustment to make, we live, right now, in this world and it's pressures are forever on our backs, demanding our attention.
However it is not impossible to refocus and direct our lives toward things that matter much more than the momentary problems that face us. When I was in the jungle I learned what it was that caused the “Thousand Yard Stare.” After so much death and killing I came to think of myself as dead meat walking. That sounds terrible until you understand that I was a servant and my specialty was insertion and extraction. Those 18 and 19 year old kids did not need a trigger happy machine gunner that might shoot one or more of them because he jerked at the wrong time, they were in need of Cool Had Luke. Once I got it into my head that there was something, so much, more important than my fragile existence I could calmly pick my targets and at the same time pay attention to the damage being inflicted on my baby, read the instruments that the pilots had no time for and watch the tail and main rotors as we lifted out of the jungle to keep the pilots from striking a tree and killing us all. My mission was life saving and required that I look at the big picture and to ignore the single frame I was focused on.

Resting In God

Psa 116:5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
When we begin to understand the LORD the way that our author did we will have learned to trust Him in an even greater manor than I had learned to trust to two 19 year old Warrant Officers that saw me into and safely out of so much trouble. God is so righteous, gracious and merciful that there is nothing we cannot trust Him with.

Psa 116:6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
We've all heard it preached from the pulpit how God uses the foolish to confound the wise. The first sentence of this verse affirms that truth about God. The second is my life story in eight words. In the past I have had folks accuse me of being a Bible Scholar when the truth is that I carry a GED because I failed Eighth Grade English and joined the US Army the next year. Any knowledge and any wisdom that I carry is the direct result of my reading and rereading the scriptures so that God could pour His blessings out on me.

Psa 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
Because the LORD has dealt with me I can live in the middle of a world gone insane and still be at rest and not worry. Just as the author of the song It Is Well could, with tears in his eyes, stand on the deck of a ship passing over the watery grave of his daughters and write those words, each of us can posses that same truth for ourselves by trusting God.

Walking With God

Psa 116:8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
Just as I stepped onto an airplane in November of 1969 ad out the bowls of a nightmare, every one of us can be delivered from the certainty of the destruction we richly deserve. Just as God delivered the author from his destruction and me from the certain death of Close Combat Support in a chopper, He will deliver you.

Psa 116:9 I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
The land of the living is a thought worth meditation. This can easily be thought of as Heaven but I believe our song writer is thinking of his life before Heaven. I see that he has decided to realize that God will see his every action ad he has determined to live a life that will honor God.

Psa 116:10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
Psa 116:11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
Without having to consider it he declares that there no man that is trust worthy, implying that only God is.

Worshiping the LORD

Psa 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
Is there anything that we posses that God has not give to us? What can we possibly repay Him with for His kindness?

Psa 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
Some will disagree but in line with the thoughts already expressed I see our worshiper accepting the salvation of his LORD and determining to follow Him.

Psa 116:14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
When an Israeli made a vow to God he was legally bound to fulfill it but the Psalmist has gone a step further. As a holy example he will not only pay his vows but he will do for all the people to see as an example to be followed.

Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
This might seem out of place but it isn't. When a man or a woman has lived a life, set apart to the LORD, such as the Psalmist has determined to do God has a place for him in Heaven.

Psa 116:16 O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
Here our author proclaims the heritage of his loyalty. Just as his mother had served God, so would he.

Psa 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
We do not live under the Law today and the sacrifice mentioned here is likely the sacrifice offering but that does not mean we should ignore or to gloss over the idea. Aside from the strict code of the Law that demonstrates the holiness of God, if we will take time to study the law there are a set of Godly principals for all of us to use in living our lives for God.

Psa 116:18 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,
Here he is emphasizing his commitment in a manor that is similar to our use of highlighters today.

Psa 116:19 In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.
Here he is encouraging everyone to go into the House of the LORD and to praise Him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The following was posted at the and is here for your thoughts;

The church dictates the timing

We sometimes get into the bad habit of watching world events to see how Satan is orchestrating his master plan. We forget that the bible is clear that creation waits for the church, the church dictates the coming of the end-times. When the tribulation comes, and the beast rules, this will all be because God's master plan of the church succesfully preaching the gospel has been finalised.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!

2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
3:12 Looking for
and hasting unto the coming of the day of God
(we can hasten that day, the church controls the pace)

Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Mark 3:10 And the gospel
must first be preached to all nations

Isn't this wonderful? The destiny of earth is in our hands, not Satan! This age is completed after we complete our job, it is nothing to do with Satan's one world government plans unfolding. It is time to complete our task.

The following is my reply;

... I'll have to say first that the OP did not make their case, the scripture quoted is pulled out of context and the premise is exact the opposite of what God has taught in His Word.
... In Gen. 1 we find God creating the entirety of creation, by Himself, He is in control. In Duet. 7:9, Psa. 105:8 (and others) we find God promising the Jew to never forget His promises for a thousand generations. This promise is easily translated as forever due to the known truth that the world will be destroyed after it is about seven thousand years old. A generation, depending on your time scale is from twenty-five to forty years long making this promise to Israel's people to be good long after the Earth has been destroyed and the New Earth has become home to the New Heaven.
... Then there is the matter of prophesy. All future ad past prophetic events are timed according to the events occurring in Jerusalem, the Holy City. When I was Born Again I did not replace Father Abraham, nor did I replace one of the Jews, I was adopted into the Family of God. The Christian never replaced the Jew, we were handed the tools they had placed aside so that we would continue the task they had slowed working on.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is The Bible Trust Worthy?

... Recently, a string was opened on a forum that I frequent asking, "Who wrote the Bible." The forum has a history of Fundamental Christianity and when the lady that asked this question first appeared her very first post proclaimed "The Perfect Bible For Young Girls." This "perfect" Bible, it turns out, makes God to be of no gender and as you might expect a number of regulars, including the moderators, took exception to the idea.
.,. No-one, including myself, believes that God is, in the sense of humanity, male or female. However there is a promise of condemnation in Revelation 22:18,19 that applies to The Book of the Revelation that should give every human reason to pause when they teach the Bible, any verse, from any book of the Bible. I. for one, do t wish to ever teach errant ideology as theology from the scriptures.
... God has such limitless power that He spoke and the Universe lept into being. This same being, God, inspired about forty men to write the Bible and in doing so He, for our understanding, portrayed Himself as our Heavenly father, a strong, trust-worthy male image.
... Now, before the imaginations run off into the woods, there is no reason what-so-ever to expect to see God's wife when we ascend into Heaven. All of the information and evidence speaks to the exact opposite being true. In Luke 20:33 we find the story of the woman that, because of Jewish custom and tradition, had been the wife of seven brothers and when Jesus replied He cut the chase and went directly to the point and informed the folks asking that there would be no married life in Heaven. In other words, just like the angels, no sexual activity.
... Now, let's get out of this brier patch and stop chasing that rabbit. Christianity, first and foremost, requires faith. If we have the faith to believe that God created the universe and made mankind the crown jewel of that creation why in the world would we ever doubt that the Bible, inspired by God was less than accurate? The world, of course, is full of people of this opinion but this mistaken ideology has no place in the Body of Christ today, tomorrow and it had no place there in the past.
... As a Christian, a follower of the Christ, it is my purpose to speak the truth and to stand against these errant teachings. As a follower of the Christ, it is also your assignment. (Matt. 28:18,19 & 20)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Psalm 112

Psalm 112 is an important Psalm to the Christian and yet it's lesson is talked down and viewed in a bad light by the world and many of the people claiming the name of the Christ today. It will do any seeker of God and His ways, much good to meditate on the implications drawn from this Psalm, even if we cannot remember any more than the first verse. Today there are many New Testament Christians and it is forever my teaching and my thoughts there cannot be such a thing. The New Testament is absolutely the best commentary ever written on the Bible and in the four Gospels, even Jesus is found quoting from the Old Testament and in Matt. 5:18 we find that Jesus even emphasized the importance of the Law, as it was given to Moses.

Without the Law we would never have known that we were sinners in need of a Saviour and without the Law we would have no example of the righteousness needed to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Without the Law we would never have known that we were failing and must have the imputed righteousness of Jesus, the Christ. Without the Law we could never know the standard God desires for His children. The entire Bible, New and the Old Testaments were inspired to be written by Jesus. (John 1:1-5) Jesus, the God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament also.

Psa 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

The Hebrew word Hallelujah is transated Praise ye the LORD in the KJV ad the ASV. The concept of fearing the LORD is one that is largly misunderstood today. The world, certainly, and much of Christendom have never come to grasp with the 1611 use of the word that has been held onto through today and it causes a great deal of misunderstanding.

When I was a young lad I feared my stepfather in the same way that I believe we are to fear God. I did not fear his wrath and his discipline nearly as much as I feared being a disappointment to him. Like my LORD, he had loved me in a way that my birth father did not even understand and just as I fear disappointing God, my Heavenly Father, I feared bringing shame to my step-dad. In much the same way that I was in awe of this man that loved me without reason so must we learn to hold God but ever so much higher. My dad earned a chest full of medals in WWII and Korea the numbered so many that the uniform of this five foot three and one half inch tall man would not carry them all. In greater contrast, everything we can see and billions of light years beyond our vision is the creation that God has put into place for our benefit.

God, later known as Jesus, the Christ, left us with the written example of His awesomeness and how can we ever afford to just put it aside and ignore it? We are not bound to the Law for forgiveness but it is our model of Holiness and because we fear the LORD our God it is the example of the holiness we must seek to attain if we are to ever model Christ

Psa 112:2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

When we look at the life of Abraham we see the truth of this verse. Many men lived during the time of Abraham and yet none of them have influenced the world in like manor. Even the Christian today proclaims Father Abraham as the father of our faith. There were many kings and there was Pharaoh, all of them thought themselves important but they have not influenced the world the way one meek man that decided to follow God has. His legacy has lasted thousands of years beyond his passing into eternity. In like manor the Godly man and the Godly woman leave a great legacy for their descendants to follow.

We can see this truth, also, in the lives of the people we know and interact with every day. We all know people that regret the mess they have caused in their children's lives. These messes are almost always because of the method employed in their rearing. These methods are most often learned traits passed down through the past generations. In the same manor we see young pastors and missionaries spring forth from the families that have learned to properly fear God. We are all shaped by the influences around us.

Psa 112:3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Here we need to be careful that we do not step outside of the teaching of the scriptures and be found guilty of adding what is not written. Our LORD had, not even, a place to lay His head and yet there has never been a richer man on the earth. We, easily, forget that we have a dual citizenship and that the treasure and wealth of this world will burn away and mean nothing. We've been talking about spiritual matters and this verse continues in that manor. There is nothing I value more than the folks I have been used, of God, to lead to the foot of the cross, they and I will rejoice in fellowship with our LORD for all eternity. So in my salvation and the salvation of others I find my great wealth.

Add to this the fact that I have been adopted into the family of God and have been awarded an equal heritage with the Son of God and I have trouble even imagining the wealth that is mine, laid up in Heaven for me.

Psa 112:4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and merciful, and righteous.

The word picture in the first half of this verse is one that compares with the Sun breaking the horizon. Just as the Sun illumines the pitch black landscape of East Texas into a beautiful green and multi-colored dream on the spring and summer mornings, God, upon entering our lives brings beauty to our world and our lives, such as we have never seen.

On the afternoon of my midnight salvation experience I lived in the same dull, boring, world I had always lived in. The very next morning I was still living in the same over priced, unsafe apartment that I had lived in for better than a year. And yet the same trees were greener and more alive than ever before. The birds sang the same songs they always had but now there was great joy in their songs. The day after I was saved everything had a different sound, look, feel and taste, for the first time in my life I was alive and the world was beautiful. The second half of the verse enumerates some of the things that begin to happen in us.

Psa 112:5 Well is it with the man that dealeth graciously and lendeth; He shall maintain his cause in judgment.

God's people, the people that do their best to live by the principals set forth in the scriptures, will know the peace that no man can ever understand. In my years with the LORD I have come to understand stewardship and at the same time I have learned what joy there is in filling the needs of those that will never be able to repay the debt. In Deuteronomy 15 we learn some very great lessons that are ignored by the world today. Here we are taught to deal graciously with the less fortunate.

Some years back I had sold a former police officer two tools that were worth more than a thousand dollars for $125.00. My fellow employees wanted me to file on him and to ruin his future as an officer of the law. This could have been easily accomplished because he had moved less than two hundred miles away and still in Texas. Instead of going after him I turned the debt over to God and forgave it being owed to me. While this is not always wise to deal with the people of the world in this, this is exactly how we should deal with our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

Psa 112:6 For he shall never be moved; The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.

The most striking example I know of this point is the man, J.C. Penney, founder of the chain of stores by the same name. It has long been reported that this gentleman grew in his business and in his faith to the point that he tithed ninety per cent of his income and lived his life on the remaining ten per cent. His faith was never destroyed and I for one can never forget such a man, prospered by God for and in his faith.

Psa 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: His heart is fixed, trusting in Jehovah.

Before I was saved I worried over every news report and every rumor I encountered. Since I have learned to trust God I now watch the news and read the Jerusalem Post so that I can remain abreast of the state of the world and so that I can see what my LORD is doing about His soon return.

Psa 112:8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, Until he see his desire upon his adversaries.

When we are rooted in God, when we have realized that this Temporal World is not our destiny we realize the truth in the statement that God and I are the majority. Once we understand that this flesh and bone body is not all there is to us we can begin to grasp the truth that there is nothing in this world that we need to fear.

Psa 112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the needy; His righteousness endureth for ever: His horn shall be exalted with honor.

When we finally learn to place God in His proper place in the scheme of our lives and we have yielded, everyone one of us, to His plan for our lives, in much the same manor as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and J.C. Penny, we will be remembered for our legacy and our place in Heaven can be considered sure by ourselves.

Psa 112:10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: The desire of the wicked shall perish.

Unlike the Godly man and his family, those that fail to find the proper place for God in their lives have nothing but failure and suffering to offer their families to look forward to.