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.

Horn of David

Psalm 132:17-18
17 “There I will cause the horn of David to spring forth; I have prepared a lamp for Mine anointed. 18 “His enemies I will clothe with shame, But upon himself his crown shall shine.”

God promised David an heir, who would sit on his throne forever.  Israel split after David’s son, Solomon died.  The line of David, lived on in the nation of Judah for several hundred years, but eventually came to end.  Did God not live up to His promise?  Of course not.  This hear would be born hundreds of years later, in David’s hometown of Bethlehem.  Jesus was the son of David.  He is the heir who will reign forever.  He is the Horn of David, talked about in verse 17.  He is God’s anointed, who will reign forever.  He will one day bring shame upon His enemies and receive a shining crown, which will last forever.

The first time Jesus came, He came as a suffering servant.  One who came to die for our sins.  The next time He comes, He will come us a conquering King.  He will come to establish His forever throne!  No one will ever take Him off of His throne.  He will rule eternity.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  In all of time, no other king will be His equal.  His reign will be just and their will be no corruption.  Oh how great of day that will be, when King Jesus takes His throne!  Come soon Lord Jesus!

Oh Jesus, King Jesus, I worship You.  For You alone are worthy of my worship.  You alone will reign forever and ever.  You are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  You are the Holy Son of God.  You are fulfillment of God the Father’s promises.  You and You alone are able to satisfy the promises of God.  No one else can.  What a wonderful day it will be when You, O Lord take Your throne!  Come soon Lord Jesus.  I wait with great anticipation of Your return!  Again, come soon Lord!  Amen!

Wait for The Lord

Psalm 130:5-6
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. 6 My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

Waiting is not something that comes naturally to me.  I struggle with being patient.  I like things to happen on my timing.  Yet, this is not what happens with God.  God tells us we need to wait on Him.  Our culture is not good with this.  We want everything solved in 30 minutes or maybe an hour tops.  God does not work that way.  He moves on His timing, not ours.  This means we might be ill for years, until God does something.  It means that when we dig a hole, God does not always pull us out when we want out.  God has stuff to teach us and we need to learn our lesson.

Patience is one of the attributes of the fruit of spirit.  God wants His fruit grown with it.  He likes the taste of patience in His fruit.  He cultivates it in us, which means we must learn to trust in Him, when we are going through tough times.  Trust does not mean, saying a few words in prayer.  It means that we are relying on Him for our very existence.  That kind of trust and patience takes time to cultivate.  It is hard during those times, but it is worth it.  God will see us through those hard times.

Dear God, I thank you for Your patience with me.  You could have given up on me a while ago, but You stick by my side.  You cultivate in me, exactly what I need.  Help me to trust in You and fully rely on You.  Deliver through the hard times, but first help me learn the lessons You have for me.  Even though the time is hard, it is worth it.  You have my best in mind.  Amen.

Persecution

Psalm 129:1-2
1 “Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up,” Let Israel now say, 2 “Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up; Yet they have not prevailed against me.

God’s people have been persecuted from the beginning.  This is true of Israel and this is true of the church.  Satan does his best to destroy the people of God, but he will never succeed.  Jesus told His disciples, that church would never be overpowered by the gates of Hades (Matthew 16:18).  Satan will never totally prevail over God or His people.

However, persecution is still real and still hard for those going through it.  Families are broken apart.  People are tortured.  People are killed.  All because they believe in Jesus.  Take some time and read up on what is happening to our brothers and sister in Christ.  Here are some links to do that:

We need to be involved for these people who are being persecuted.  We need to pray for them.  We need to know what is going on with the and be an advocate for them.  We need to raise awareness about them, so others can help.  God called us to be ONE body.  We as a church are united in Him.  If one part of the boy is hurting, we all are.

Dear God, I lift up those around the world, who are being persecuted for their faith in You.  I pray that You protect them and keep them safe.  I pray You foil the plans of the enemy.  Give strength to those, who are going through this persecution.  Help them to stand strong and their faith to be solid.  May they be a shining light in a dark land.  Help me to pray more for them and raise awareness about their ordeals.  And most importantly, may Your Holy name be Glorified!  Amen.

Fear and Obey

Psalm 128:1 How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.

There are two things is this verse that He wants us all to do.  These are both God’s will for our lives.  God wants us to fear Him and to obey Him.  These two things go hand in hand.  when we fear God, obeying Him comes naturally.  And when we are obeying Him, fearing Him comes with it.

Fearing God is all about our attitude and our respect for Him.  When we properly see God for who He is, we recognize how great and mighty He is.  To fear God is to humble ourselves before Him and let Him control our lives, realizing that He knows best and trusting Him to take care of us.  God promises in His word, to bless us and provide for us.  We obey God, because we trust Him and fear Him.

Dear God, I thank you for Your promises.  Please help to have the right attitude about You.  Help me to be humble and to fear You.  Help me to obey You.  You are so amazing.  You promise to see us through, any and all situations.  I put faith in You and Your promises.  I have no hope but You.  And that hope in You is more than enough!  Amen.

Wasted Effort

Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

If you do not involve God in your plans, all of your planning is in vain.  It is God who chooses to bless your plans and work.  We waste our effort, if we do something God is not in.  No matter how much effort we put in, it is futile without God.  Solomon says our efforts are in vain.  God wants us to include Him in our plans.  He wants us to seek Him for His wisdom.  He wants us to seek His counsel on the matter.

I remember installing my kids car seats when they were babies.  I could not get them tight.  I pulled and yanked but it stayed loose.  I put a dowel in the loop of the strap, but only accomplished lifting the car.  The seat was still loose.  It was so frustrating!  Then I saw  a video of somebody putting some weight on the seat to tighten it.  So I climbed into the seat and pulled on the strap and it tightened right up.  Without my weight on the seat, my effort was in vain.  No matter what I did, the seat would not tighten.  However, when I added me weight to it, I was able to accomplish it.  Having God involved in what we are doing is like that.  He puts His weight down and we are able to do what we need to do.  Without Him, we do not accomplish what we try, not matter the effort put in.  Lean the lesson and include God in your plans and work.

This is also true of our salvation.  If we think we can work it our on our own, we are wasting our effort.  Apart from Jesus’ work on the cross, no one can be saved.  Only by the love and grace of God are we forgiven.  Do not be foolish and think you can work your way to God.  It is in vain.  Seek His grace and mercy.  That is the only way.

Dear God, without You are effort is vain.  It is a wasted effort.  Without You, I whither, but with You I flourish.  A vine cannot grow, if it is not connected.  Help me to be connected to You.  Give me wisdom to not waste effort.  Help me to work smart, by seeking You first.  Thank you for loving me and helping me.  Thank you for saving me, by Your amazing grace.  I could never work my way to Heaven.  It is only by You we are saved.  Amen.