Not Good Enough

Psalm 143:2 And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous

If you were to die today, do you think God would let you into Heaven?  If so, why?  If your answer is that you are pretty good or better than most others, then you need to think again.  In the above verse, David says that no man is righteous in God’s sight.  No man means exactly how it sounds; none, zero, zilch.  We all are not good enough to get in to Heaven.  James said if we keep the whole law and yet stumble at only one point, we are guilty of breaking all of it.  Our sin, is too much to get us into Heaven.

Then what is the answer?  Why should God let you into Heaven?  My one and only hope is Jesus.  He, being both fully man and fully God, lived a perfect life.  His is the only life, God finds righteous.  Jesus took that Holy, perfect life and died for our sins.  His death provides forgiveness for our sins, but only if we accept His sacrifice and believe in Him as our Savior.  He is the only way.  When we are saved, God see as righteous, based on Jesus’ life.  That is the only way, God will let you into Heaven.

Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior?  If not or you are not sure, take some today to do so.  Confess to Him that you are a sinner, in need of Him.  Believe that He is the only way and that He is God.  Accept Him as your Savior and Lord of your life.

Dear God, I pray for those who read this who are not saved.  I pray that You would work in their heart and lead them to You.  Draw them near to You, Oh God.  Open their hearts to You.  I pray that nothing would stop them from coming to You.  Amen.

You are Not Alone

Psalm 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me.

David was overwhelmed.  His enemies seemed to be triumphing over him.  Everyone seemed to be against him.  No matter where it seemed he turned, he found an enemy.  We find him in this Psalm, crying out to God.  Pleading with God to help him and protect him.  In the midst of all of this, he realizes that God is there with him.  God knew exactly where David was and where he was going.  David was not alone.

God knew David’s path and God knows your path.  He knows exactly what is going on with you.  He is aware of your circumstances.  He sees your struggles.  Just as David was not alone, you are not alone.  I am not alone.  God is with us.  God is in control.  No matter how bad things seem, we need to remember that God is fully in control.  There has never, ever been a situation where things spun out of God’s control.  God has never gotten flustered, because things did not go His way.  The good news you or I can find in our struggles, is we are not alone and He who is with us is in charge.  If God is for us, who can stand against us! (Romans 8:31)

Dear God, I thank you that You are in control.  I thank you that You know exactly where I am and what circumstances I find myself.  I thank you that You are Lord over those circumstances.  Help me to trust in You.  Help me to see You for who You fully are.  If you are for me, then that is enough.  Amen.

Guard My Heart

Psalm 141:4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice deeds of wickedness With men who do iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Our hearts are a precious thing, which we need to protect.  In fact, David asks God to guard it.  Our hearts are easily led to evil, if we are not paying attention.  David knew that.  For even though he was called a man after God’s own heart, he still had a sinful nature just like ours.  It is a nature that pulls us away from God.  We need His help in order to guard our hearts.

Paul says in Philippians Chapter 4, the peace of God will guard our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus.  When we do not rely on God’s peace, we rely on ourselves and only screw things up.  We cannot guard our hearts ourselves, instead we need to depend on God.  God’s peace, which Paul says transcends all understanding, will protect us from self-reliance.  I heard somebody on the radio today talking about self reliance.  He said that every time you see in the Bible that a person reasoned in their own mind, trouble was coming for them.  And it is also true that when the person sought God and His wisdom, good things came to them.  We need the Spirit of God, to keep us from evil.  We need to trust in His provision and not the world’s.

Dear God, I pray as David did, asking you to protect from sin.  Guard my heart and my mind with Your awesome peace.  Help me to be not envious of the wicked, but instead help me to trust in You and be faithful to You.  You are an amazing God.  I thank you that You do not leave us alone to live life, but instead You are totally involved, helping us as we go.  Amen.

Afflicted and Poor

Psalm 140:12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted And justice for the poor

Have you ever heard anybody say that nobody looks out for the little guy?  Well, that is not true.  David tells us that God looks out for the little guy.  In fact, when you read through the Bible you can clearly see, God looks out for the little guy.  In face, God wants us to look out for them as well.  As Moses is re-giving the law in Deuteronomy, 10 times he talks about taking care of both the widows and orphans.  We are supposed to make sure that they enough food to eat and have clothes to wear.  We are to make provisions, so that they might be taken care of.  The tenth verse, actually places a curse on somebody who does not take care of them.  Malachi says that God will judge those who neglect them.

God does not wants us to oppress anyone.  James tells us that pure and undefiled religion is to take of those who need help.  A righteous act in God’s sight, is to take care of someone in need.  The other side to that, is that when we are the poor and afflicted, we need to be humble enough to allow others to help us.  Pride can kill generosity, both for us and others.  I am not saying we need to stop working and let others provide for us, that is not God’s command.  In fact God wanted the poor, the widows, and the orphans to still go in the field and collect their food.  Doing it this way, allows people to keep their dignity.  It allows them to work for their food and it also allows for us to help provide for them.  God wants people to be humble, it is never His will that they be humiliated.

Dear God, I thank you that the poor and needy have a special place with You.  I thank you, that You look out for the little guy.  I thank you that widows and orphans have a special place in Your heart.  Help me to look for ways to help those less fortunate than me.  Help me to serve them in a way that brings them and You honor.  Help me to be humble to accept help when I need it.  May I love others the way You do.  Amen.

Search Me

Psalm 139:23-24
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

David asks God to search him and to know his heart.  He is not asking God to do this for God’s benefit, instead it is for David’s.  David wants God to search out His heart and to reveal the flaws to David.  He asking God so that he can know what areas of his life he needs to work on.  Areas which we needs to pray about and seek God about.  David knows that he has flaws and David knows that he needs God to help him overcome the flaws.

He was afraid to ask God to know him intimately, because David knew God already knew him and He still loved him.  God knows all of our flaws.  He knows the areas of our lives, where we struggle to live a Holy life.  He knows where we fall short.  God already knows all of that and yet He still loves us.  Jesus knew all about our sin, before He came to die for our sins and He still came.  God loves you and God loves me.  He cannot stand our sin, but He loves us as a person.  He wants us to submit to Him and allow Him to work on our flaws.  His will is for us to overcome our sin, in order for Him to get the glory.

There are questions we need to ask ourselves.  Have you fully submitted your life to Him?  Do you trust Him with all areas of your life?  Is there a sin, you think you are hiding from Him?  Have you asked Him to be your Savior?

These are questions we need to ask ourselves.  Pray to God and ask Him to search you and to reveal to you areas you need to work on.  Ask Him to lead you in the everlasting way.

Dear Jesus, I thank You that You died for me with full knowledge of my sin.  I thank you that You loved me enough anyway.  Thank you that You know us, inside and out.  We cannot hide anything from You.  Reveal to me any areas Lord where I fall short.  Help me to fully submit to You and allow You to direct my life.  Amen.

The Father Knows

Psalm 138:6 For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.

Let me start off by saying Happy Fathers Day, to all the dads out there.  Never forget who the best dad is, God the Father.  He knows His children.  He knows which ones are proud and which ones are humble.  Even though God is highly exalted in Heaven, He still knows everything about us.  He knows our attitudes.  He knows how we treat others.  He knows our moods while obeying Him.  Like the title of the old TV show, Father Knows Best.

God does not want us to obey Him grudgingly.  Our attitude in obedience is just as important as our obedience.  God wants us to server Him cheerfully, not all grumpy.  He loves it when we sing praise to Him as we obey, rather than mumbling and grumbling through it.  He knows our hearts and our motives.  He can tell the difference between a plastic smile and real genuine smile.

The Father knows.  We cannot fool Him, so do not even bother trying.  A lot of times, I can tell right away if my kids are lying to me, but you know what?  There are times I get it wrong and have to apologize to them.  God the Father never reads us wrong.  He knows.   He knows all about you.  He knows about any secret sin you have in your life.  Yet, even though He knows, He still loves you.  He is the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son, which Jesus told in Luke 15.  When we wonder, the Father is waiting for us to come home, with open arms.

We have a good, good Father.  Thank Him for that today.  Worship and praise His great name!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being a great Father.  Thank you for being my example as a father.  You know all about me and You love me.  Help me to humble.  Help me to serve You cheerfully.  Help me to give You all of the glory.  You are a good, good Father!  Amen.

Praising God in Hard Times

Psalm 137:4 How can we sing the LORD’S song In a foreign land?

Jerusalem has been captured and burned down.  The magnificent temple, which Solomon had built, was burned to the ground.  Only ashes were left.  All of the utensils and sacrifice accessories had been taken as booty.  The people are being taken to Babylon, minus of the poor.  On their way there, neighbor enemies had jeered and mocked them.  Now their captors want them to sing for them.  How could they?  How could they after all that has happened?

The Psalmist did not feel like singing to God, because he was miserable.  We can get this way to.  When we go through the hard times, the storms of life, singing praise to God is not at the top of our list of things to do.  Yet, that is what we need to do.  It is not easy thing to do.  Our hearts are not filled with joy, but rather despair.  We need to fight the urge to lose hope.  We need to keep trusting God and we need to keep our faith in Him strong.  A big part of doing that is singing praises to God.  It helps remind us who He is.  It reminds us of His goodness.  It reminds us of His promises.  Remember, whether in good times or bad, God’s mercies are still new every morning.  His grace is still amazing.  He still on His throne.  His faithfulness in still great.  He is still our Rock, which we can run too.  He is still Holy, Holy, Holy and He is still almighty!

Do not stop praising Him.  In fact we need to sing His praises more, during those tough times.  It will help us get our eyes off of ourselves and back onto God where they belong.  When we keep our eyes on the bigness of God, our problems do not seem as big.

Dear God, help me to keep singing Your praises during tough times.  Help me to worship You and know You even better.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for Your wonderful promises and truths.  Nobody is like You, Oh great God!  Thank you for the amazing and wonderful plans You have for me and my family.  Thank you for being in control.  You are a big, big God.  My problems are small compared to Your bigness.  Amen.

His Lovingkindness is Everlasting

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Every verse in Psalm 136 is written using the same formula.  The Psalmist lists off something God has done first and each verse ends with “For His lovingkindness is everlasting”.  What a great truth for us to remember.  God had done wonderful things, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  God is doing wonderful things, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  God will do wonderful things, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  We can trust God, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  We can know God, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  We have hope, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.

God does not change.  He is, who He was and will be that way forever and ever.  God showed lovingkindness to Adam and Eve in the Garden.  They deserved to die for disobeying Him.  Instead He showed them grace, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  We deserve to die and be eternally tortured in hell, but God made a way for us to be saved from that, because of everlasting lovingkindness.  God sent His one and only Son, to come to earth and sacrifice Himself for our sins, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  Jesus came willingly and died willingly, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  After He died, He rose again and went back to heave to prepare a place for us, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  The Holy Spirit came down to live in Christians, in order that we might know God’s will and how to live, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  All three parts of the God-head display Their everlasting lovingkindness, in all that they do for us.  God made away for us to go to Heaven, because of His everlasting lovingkindness.  How great, marvelous, wonderful, and amazing is God’s everlasting lovingkindness!

Dear God, I thank you for Your everlasting lovingkindness.  Without it I would be lost and have no hope.  With it, I have hope and I have a relationship with You.  Thank you so much!  Help me to never forget Your everlasting lovingkindness.  It is so amazing as You are, my King!  Amen.

Man Made Idols

Psalm 135:15-18
15 The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; They have eyes, but they do not see; 17 They have ears, but they do not hear, Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, Yes, everyone who trusts in them.

How foolish it is to create something and then call it a god.  Yet at times, we are guilty of this to some extent.  We manufacture a god after our own image and worship it.  It might be money or power or success.  We are fools.  Only God is God.  He alone deserves our worship and praise.  This world thinks we are foolish when we worship the One True God, but we are really being wise when we do.  The Bible says that fool has said in their heart, that there is no God.

An idol made out of gold or silver is nothing but a dumb piece of stone.  It cannot think.  It does not have power.  It can do nothing.  When we choose to follow an idol, we choose to be as dumb as a box of rocks. Do not be as dumb as box of rocks, worship only God.  For He created you and not the other way around.

Lord, how foolish it is to worship something that we ourselves make.  We are to worship You, our creator, not something we have created.  Help me to be wise.  Help me not to worship false gods, but You alone.  For You are the One True God.  Amen.

Unity

Psalm 133
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes. 3 It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing -life forever.

God wants His children to be united.  We are still with one another, seeking the best for one another.  This does not mean we have to agree on all preferences.  It means we give one another grace when it is needed.  However, on the major points of the faith, we need to stand in agreement, in unity.

God is glorified, when we as a body get a long.  It brings great joy to me to see my kids getting along, enjoying being with each other.  Just tonight I picked up my five-year old twins.  I glanced at both of them and they both had big smiles on their faces.  That brought such joy to a father’s heart.  It is the same with our heavenly Father.  When we stand together, getting along and enjoying fellowship with one another, He is full of joy.  He is glorified.  His name is blessed by us, the way things should be.  Stand united with your brothers and sisters in Christ!

Dear Jesus, I thank you for the unity of the gospel.  It unites people along all lines.  It unites the genders, the races, the ethnic backgrounds, and people of different language groups.  The most important thing is that You are glorified.  Your name is blessed, because we standing together.  Give us unity in Your body.  Help us to give grace to one another.  And help us to stand firm, against those wanting to divide us.  Come soon, Lord Jesus!  What a worship service we will have in heaven!  I cannot wait!  Amen.