Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Have Thought On My Ways

Scripture: (King James Version)
Psalm 119: 59-60
"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.  I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments."

Bible trivia....Psalm 119 is the most lengthy Psalm in the Holy Bible.  
The Psalmist David in the above scripture declares, "I have thought on my ways..."
If only people would just stop and "think" more about their ways.  If they would just stop and think about God and eternity.  In fact, the Bible in Isaiah 1:18 tells us, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  
 (sal·va·tion - 
 [ sal váysh'n ]    

  1. act of saving from harm: the saving of somebody or something from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure
  2. means of saving somebody or something: somebody or something that protects or delivers another from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure
  3. deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ: in the Christian religion, deliverance from sin or the consequences of sin through Jesus Christ's death on the cross
Salvation begins with serious consideration.  It begins with giving "thought" to your ways and to the needs of your soul.    If we do our part by giving thought and serious consideration to our ways, God will bring revelation about His amazing and unconditional love for us.  He will reveal  things about Heaven and eternity; the provisions that were made on the Cross for all mankind.  

                             Are you Heaven bound?
                         Have you given "your ways" 
            over to Jesus and asked Him into your heart? 

Hebrews 9:27 reminds us of this fact - "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Let's notice what else the Psalmist says in our text. "...and I turned my feet unto thy testimonies."   When a person truly gives serious consideration to their ways, God and their spiritual needs, it leads to action.                         Serious consideration=action.Remember the story of the prodigal son in St. Luke, chapter 15?  Eventually the son "thought on his ways" and in verse 18 he says, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven,...."       Serious consideration led him to definite action!

Today, many of you reading this may have said to yourself or others, numerous times, "I'm going to change my ways and start living right.  I'm going to become a Christian, get to know God."  But, have you done any more than just talk about it?  As the prodigal son did, you must arise and act upon the conviction that you are feeling within yourself.

The Psalmist David also declares in our text, "I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments."  If you have not taken action on changing your ways, please do not delay any longer!  "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

What is the recap of our scripture in Psalm 119: 59-60 and what is it saying to us today?
1 - STOP and think about our ways.
2 - TURN.  Turn to God.  He is the only one that can make a difference for you and me.
3 - MAKE HASTE.       Don't delay!     Time is running out.
"...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)
4 - OBEY.  We must obey the commandments of God.  We must obey the commands of God's Word, the Bible.  We need to read it and carry out it's instructions.  There is no other way but to "trust" God and "obey."
                               "Think" on your ways.
                         Make haste and "turn" to God.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

God's Precious Promises

Scripture:  (King James Version)
2 Peter 1:2-4
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Notice these "words"  from verse four..."whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises."
These subject notes are about God's Precious Promises.  Peter in the scripture above speaks about God's promises as being "exceeding great and precious."  I often wonder many times - do we really value them as such?  Do we realize their importance as they relate to the whole conduct of our Christian life?  Let's stop for a few moments and revalue the importance of the promises of God.  God is a covenant keeping God.  It is His divine nature.  God's promises have to do with a Person.
There is no situation in which we may find ourselves that has not been provided for by the grace of God.  Wisdom, is of course needed to know what our present specific need is and then, by faith we apply God's promises in His Word, for that need.  We used to sing a little chorus with this line...
         "Every promise in the book is mine - every chapter - every verse - every line."
                                         God is a great, miracle working God!
                    I am thankful for the precious promises of God that are given unto us.  Purity.
Think of the many promises relating to God's provisions.  Promises that strengthen us and give assurance.  Promises that give great comfort to the people of God.  Promises to provide our every need as children of God.
Our daily lives are physically draining.  Stress can add to the strain.  As human beings we do get tired.   These bodies of ours can stand but just so much...but thank God for His many promises of healing....and refreshing strength!  Thank God for His quickening touch that revitalizes our mortal bodies as we trust in Him.  Thank God for His promise in Deuteronomy 33:25, "...and as they days, so shall thy strength be."  We all experience material needs, financial needs and certainly spiritual needs.  But, praise God for such great - exceedingly great - precious promises!  In Philippians 4:19 we have another great promise, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." God has promised to provide for the needs of His people.  Again, in St. Matthew 6:33 we are admonished and given the promise..."But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (notice the word...ALL.)

Think with me about all of the promises relating to God's power.   One example, Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection that they would receive divine power.  Acts 1:8 says, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.  Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea. and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth."  Thank God for the indwelling presence and power that is given to us as believers through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit gives us power to live according to the God's plan as well as giving us power to do the work He has called us to do.  He promises  in Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."
There are also promises relating to God's presence.  Psalm 16:11 "Thou wilt shed me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Jesus said in Hebrews 13:5, "...I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."  The writer of the Hebrew referred to that when he said,  "He hath said;"...."I will never leave thee nor forsake thee (vs 6) "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."  Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, "...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."  The Psalmist David said, " I will fear no evil for art with me."  Aren't you thankful that as a born again believer you have a friend that sticks closer than a the person of our Lord Jesus Christ?  (Proverbs 18:24)  He is always right by our side!
Some of the greatest promises in the Bible are related to our pardon.  Nothing is more precious than the wonderful truth that God forgives sin and pardons the sinner!  God has promised dear friend, to pardon your sin when you put your trust in Jesus Christ.  Not only are our sins forgiven but they are forgotten.  Hebrews 10:17 says,  "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."  What an exceeding great and precious promise!   Another great promise in 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Doesn't that make you want to shout?   The prophet Micah said in Micah 7:18, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?..."   Again, the Bible says in Isaiah 55:7, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." As I bring this to a close, I'll mention one last promise in Isaiah 1:18 which reads, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Dear friend........there is pardon from God for you.  There is forgiveness for sin and mercy...if you will just call upon Him.   Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross so that you might have forgiveness.  He has power on earth to forgive sins, your sins, my sins.  Won't you call on His name right now?  The Bible says (Romans 10:13) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
                                           God has a plan for your life........HEAVEN.
                                                      He is coming again.......soon.
                            Accept God's promises today!  God's peace and pardon is for all!