Friday, August 31, 2018

“Promises and Warnings”

"Promises and Warnings"

    A noted scientist recently died.  He professed atheism during his earthly lifetime, but reliable reports from the Other Side confirm he realized his error immediately upon his death.  The gentleman often ridiculed any notion of the universe existing as the special creation of God.  He knows better now, but how tragically sad that he discovered his error far too late for escape from "the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10).

    The bridge is out, as it were, over the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).  The Lord Jesus Christ who alone spans the gulf to enable our passage to Heaven spoke as often about judgment to come as He did about the promise of eternal life.  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).  Our Lord loved people enough to tell them the full measure of Biblical truth.  We must join our Him as heralds who present both the promises and warnings of the Gospel.  It is just as loving to warn that the bridge is out as it is to share the Lord Jesus as our only hope of crossing over into eternal redemption rather than everlasting rejection.

    There is, however, a caveat regarding our honest declaration of both grace offered and wrath to come.

    "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (II Timothy 2:24-25).

    A preacher of old once stated, "No man should preach about judgment to come without a broken heart and tears in his eyes."  Indeed, the firmer the message, the gentler must be our attitude as we share it.  The truth of God's judgment is more than weighty enough to instill the proper fear in those who hear.  The lionkeeper has no need to be angry or harsh as he opens the cage to free the one who will represent himself without need of help.  We need not strive because the Holy Spirit and His Truth will apply whatever intensity of application is required to press home the message of coming judgment to human hearts.  The Word of God is itself a sword, "the sword of the Spirit" that pierces through all darkness to give Truth its effectual passage into human hearts (Ephesians 6:17).  Some will respond well.  Others won't.  We must accept that fact, and be sure that it does not affect our communication of the Gospel, and of the proper demeanor and attitude as we declare both its promises and its warnings.

"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." 
(Ezekiel 3:18)
"Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
(Acts 20:31)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.
(Psalm 60:11)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

“Muse Or Amuse?”

"Muse Or Amuse?"

    Muse or amuse?  Think or not think?  We live in a generation strongly attempted to overemphasize the proper role that relaxed amusement can have in our lives.  We may need times when innocent diversions help us to regenerate and maintain physical, emotional, and mental equilibrium.  Such practice should not occupy our main focus, however, nor should entertainment be viewed as an utter necessity on a daily basis.  Human beings do far better spiritually, morally, relationally, and in many other ways when we properly emphasize God-given responsibility as paramount in our perception of life and the practice thereof.

   "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
   Our spiritual enemies constantly tempt us to disengage our minds, and subsequently, our hearts and hands.  God made human beings to move, first internally, then externally.  Our primary mental engagement involves thinking in terms of God's Biblical truth: "to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).  From this source and wellspring of light, we then seek to think about the matters of life in corollary terms.  "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).  Indeed, if with an active mind we consider God, ourselves, other people, the world, our careers, our education, our blessings, and our challenges according to the Lord's truth, we are far more likely to function well in all things for His glory, the blessing others, and our own well being.  This requires an engaged mind that, again, emphasizes musing (thinking) rather than amusement (no thinking).  "The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness" (Proverbs 21:5).

    Myriads of diversions beckon to us daily, offering distractions that often deceive and discourage.  We do well to remember our Scriptural calling to use our minds and subsequently walk in our Christ-enabled and Christ-honoring calling.  "In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul" declared the Psalmist (Psalm 94:19).  He referred to those thoughts that proceed from God's Word and His Spirit, thoughts from an active mind illuminated by the Light that keeps us from the mindlessness that wastes opportunity and paralyzes our potential in Christ.

 "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.  Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
(Proverbs 24:30-34)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.
(Psalm 60:11)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

“A Real Relationship”

"A Real Relationship"

    The leadership of the Holy Spirit in the lives of born again believers does not involve programming, but rather personal illumination, encouragement, challenge, and enabling to respond to God in faith and faithfulness.

   "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).

    Our complete dependence on the Lord for the living of the Christian life does not preclude our role of a chosen trust, submission, and obedience to God.  The Lord Jesus Christ made possible and actual in us a living relationship wherein we make free determinations to walk in God's Spirit and Truth.  This is the primary meaning of our Lord's declaration to His disciples: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).  The context of the passage speaks of our liberation from the mastery of sin.  Through our Lord's death, resurrection, ascension, and giving of the indwelling Holy Spirit, believers become free from the tyranny of unrighteousness.  This makes possible choices to trust and obey Him, as led and enabled by His Spirit.

    "When ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness… but now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life" (Romans 6:20:21).  

     Our newness of life in Christ liberates us to consistently and increasingly trust and obey God.  Thus, our Heavenly Father has no need to program or coerce us as robots, but rather to lead us to the threshold of decisions whereby we confidently avail ourselves of His guidance and provision of enabling.  Thereby we genuinely love Him, and thereby we walk with Him in an authentic relationship and fellowship.  "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength" declared David, who even in the limited experience of the Old Testament saints realized the truth of a chosen devotion to God, as based on a realized dependence for His leadership and enabling (Psalm 18:1).  For New Testament saints indwelt by the Holy Spirit, such truth bears even more significance and power.   "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phillipians 4:13).  The free determination of David - "I will love Thee" - unites with the grace-based confidence of Paul - "I can… through Christ."  The Spirit of God continually leads rather than coerces us to such a life of genuine love, faith, and devoted choices to a real relationship with God rather than a forced fealty that would mean nothing to either Him or ourselves.

"As for me, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy."
(Psalm 5:7)
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
(Philippians 2:12-13)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.
(Psalm 60:11)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


"From... To"

    God delivers us from sin by delivering us to righteousness.

    "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Ephesians 4:28).

    Spirituality and morality do not exist in a vacuum.  The thief not only stops stealing when he comes to the Lord Jesus Christ.  He also becomes a giver.  All temptation is overcome by this process of God's working in us to replace flesh with spirit, darkness with light, evil with good, death with life, selfishness with love.  We do well to consider this way of the Holy Spirit regarding the particular temptations that challenge our walk with the Lord.  He works in us to reveal the person, character, and nature of the Lord Jesus as the spiritual substitute for whatever fleshly impulses and inclinations tempt us.

   This requires prayerful consideration and response on our part.  What of Christ might we need to "put on" in order to "put off" the ways of our former unregenerate selves? (Ephesians 4:22-24).  Suppose we are frequently tempted to fear and insecurity.  Succumbing to such temptation violates many commands of the Scriptures, including the Apostle Paul's mandate: "Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).  Note that there is much for us to do within our hearts and minds if God's peace is to govern our consciousness.  Prayer, supplication (request), and thanksgiving must be performed in order to experience the Lord's promise.  Such inward activity serves as the replacement for contrary thoughts and emotions that tempt us to fear.  Indeed, a heart busy in communion with its Heavenly Father leaves little room for insecurity and fright to have their evil sway.  "When I cry unto Thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me" (Psalm 56:9).

    The same dynamic way of the Spirit applies to all temptation.  The Lord Jesus Himself countered the devil's enticements by replacing their tempting influence with "It is written" (Matthew 4:4; 7; 10).  We must do the same as we put off by putting on.  Whatever challenges we face will be overcome as we access the indwelling character and nature of Christ in order to replace fleshly impulses, attitudes, words, habits, and actions.  Yes, our Heavenly Father delivers us "from" by delivering us "to."

"Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."
(Galatians 5:16)
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
 (Ephesians 4:29)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.
(Psalm 60:11)

Monday, August 27, 2018

"Provision For Prayer"

"Provision For Prayer"

    Prayer is meant to involve vital reality, as opposed to the "vain repetitions" our Lord calls us to avoid (Matthew 6:7).

    "I will pray with the spirit and with the understanding" (I Corinthians 14:15).

    This presents a challenge that overwhelms our human capacities.  Communication with an infinite, unseen Being who knows us perfectly, but who we know so imperfectly should motivate movement to our knees and faces before Him upon first consideration.  "The Lord is in His holy temple.  Let all the earth keep silence before Him" (Habbakuk 2:20).  No spiritual practice more requires the leadership and enabling of the Holy Spirit if we are to genuinely commune with our Heavenly Father in the light of Truth and authenticity.  "Teach us to pray" requested the disciples (Luke 11:1).  How well we do to join them.

    "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).

    Thankfully, the saving grace of the Lord Jesus includes His provision for prayer.  He is Himself the provision, as imparted to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  As always, the Lord's teaching involves more than mere education.  Enabling accompanies illumination and command.  "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10).  Apart from such provision, prayer would call us to make bricks without straw.  By such provision, we may consistently and increasingly communicate with the living God in reality rather than ritual or repetition.  He will guide each of His trusting children in Christ to a life and lifetime of prayer that is personal to each of us.  The same Scriptural principles will govern our offerings of praise, thanksgiving, supplication, intercession, and confession.  However, we will each find our own way in the matter, or rather be shown that way as we seek our Lord's guidance and enabling.  "Teach me Thy way, o Lord.  I will walk in Thy truth" (Psalm 86:11).

   As with every spiritual calling, two rails lie before us as we consider the privileged responsibility of prayer.  Utter impossibility in and of ourselves, and ultimate infusion of enabling through Christ.  "Without me, ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13).  The Scriptures and the Spirit call us in this day to walk with God in prayer.  They also promise enabling for the journey as we heed Solomon: "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5).  No calling is more important because every spiritual responsibility requires our access of the Lord's leadership and enabling through prayer.  Ironically, prayer itself requires that leadership and enabling.  Teach us Thy way indeed, o Lord!  Teach us to pray.

"O send out Thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles."
(Psalm 43:3)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.
(Psalm 60:11)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Saturday Songs - 32 - "Child Of Faith"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

Friends: each Saturday this year, we are sending the lyrics and a recorded version of one of our songs.   This one is what you might call an exultation.  It's pretty lively, as it concerns the triumph we have in our Lord Jesus Christ.  The tempo is upbeat and the instrumentation has a bit of energy to it.  We're primarily known for more folk type styles, so it's a little different.  This is one of our favorites, written many years ago.   I hope you find it encouraging Thanks, Glen

“Child Of Faith”
Words and music by Glen Davis

We are runnin’ down that road that never ends,
we are flying through the starry skies.
We are sailing on that ocean that knows no shore,
ever looking into Jesus’ eyes.

And by His life within us we will not be deterred,
we will shout the shout of triumph and of praise.
For the gates of hell and death could not contain our Lord,
and they cannot hold His child of faith.
Well this world in which we live was not a friend to our Lord,
it nailed Him to a cruel tree.
And Christian be sure that that cross still stands,
only this time for you and me.

And by His life within us we will not be deterred,
we will shout the shout of triumph and of praise.
For the gates of hell and death could not contain our Lord,
and they cannot hold His child of faith.

Well at the name of Jesus every knee will one day bow,
and every tongue confess His name.
So let us boldly tell the story of an empty tomb,
let us sing with joy that Jesus reigns.

And by His life within us we will not be deterred,
we will shout the shout of triumph and of praise.
For the gates of hell and death could not contain our Lord,
and they cannot hold His child of faith.

Friday, August 24, 2018

“Impossible Wombs”

"Impossible Wombs"

    The Lord Jesus Christ entered the world through the womb of the impossible.  "A virgin shall conceive" (Matthew 1:23).  The same was true of his herald, John the Baptist.  "They had no child because Elizabeth was barren" (Luke 1:7).

    Two women who should not have been able to bear children bore the Savior and the prophet of whom the Lord Jesus said, "among them that are born of women, there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist" (Matthew 11:11).  This tells us much about the nature of God's redeeming work in Christ.  It began with the miraculous.  It continues until this day as the supernatural working of God manifested through means that appear to be beyond hope.  Virgins don't conceive.  Barren wombs don't bear children.  "God… calleth those things that be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17).

   Again, the process continues until this day.  What virginal, barren wombs exist in our lives?  Where are matters of hopelessness, helplessness, and seeming impossibility?  Where might Christ come forth in ways we cannot imagine?  How might glories appear in places that were before empty and void?  We do not know.  But we know the One who can be trusted to reveal His Son in the most unlikely places.  We trust Him to do so.  We also expect He will be about His redemptive processes in ways and means that often involve the unexpected.  The Lord Jesus had to be born of a virgin so as not to partake of the nature of sin that exists in Adam's lost race.  John's birthing from barrenness clearly typifies Israel's lack of faithfulness to God, but nevertheless her bringing Christ into the world.  Two women.  Two wombs of the impossible.  Two men of miraculous origin and substance.  One reality, namely, the Lord's work in a fallen world always flows against the current of appearance, human perspective, and the norm of our expectations.  The current continues its unlikely course unto this hour, including the matters of your life and mine.  We do well to anticipate such working, to expect the unexpected.  Mary and Elizabeth, along with their blessed offspring, born of impossible wombs, help us to do so.

"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
(John 7:24)
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen."
(Ephesians 3:20-21)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Wait on the Lord.  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

“Along Particular Pathways”

"Along Particular Pathways"

    When the general becomes the specific, the potential for believers to faithfully walk with our Lord becomes realized and actual.

     "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

    Responding to Solomon's command may begin by our general acknowledgement of the Lord in "all."  However, we do well to specifically consider the matters of life in accordance with "trust… lean not… acknowledge."  This presents both great blessing and challenge, along with much opportunity for prayerful consideration and communication with God.  Consider individual relationships.  We do well to think of each person in our lives according to "trust… lean not… acknowledge."  Those with whom we share our existence do not cross our paths by accident, but rather by our Lord's purposes.  Do we think of each individual accordingly?  Acknowledging the Lord in specific terms requires that we do.

    We apply this to everything in our lives, again, a calling that offers both great promise and great responsibility.  Prayer, the Scriptures, fellowship with other believers, career, finances, hobbies, entertainment, bodily issues, possessions - all and more call us to "trust… lean not… acknowledge."  As we frequently suggest in these messages, believers do not have to be brilliant in order to walk faithfully with our Lord.  But we do have to think.  We must thoughtfully respond to God's presence and working in our lives.  Applied faith leads to actualized faithfulness.  Indeed, as we respond to the Lord and His Truth along particular pathways, we become far more likely to trust and obey Him in the power of the Holy Spirit.  This offers the blessing of knowing God in the personal terms for which He redeemed us, and the practical outworking of His involved presence.  He numbers the very hairs of our head (Matthew 10:30).  Our Lord is obviously very specific in His involvement with us.  We do well to respond in kind, pointedly trusting, leaning not, and acknowledging Him along each pathway of life.  

"Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Wait on the Lord.  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

"Forgotten Prayers"

"Forgotten Prayers"

    He forgot the prayers he and his wife had prayed.

    "And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth… And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this?  For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years" (Luke 1:12-14; 18).

    "Thy prayer is heard."  In younger days, Elizabeth's barrenness led she and Zacharias to seek God for His provision of a child.  Time passed, however.  Zacharias and Elizabeth became "well stricken in years."  Prayers were forgotten.  Hope waned.  Not until the angel Gabriel appeared with the pronouncement of the Lord's answer did Zacharias likely recall times in the temple, and times whenever and wherever of seeking the Lord's miracle.

    God had not forgotten, however.  He simply waited to answer until the time was right.  We do well to remember that prayers we do not remember praying may well remain fresh before the throne of the eternal God.  Most of us don't record all our pleas to Heaven.  Thus, we forget many and perhaps even most of them.  The Lord may nevertheless answer those forgotten pleas, often in ways we won't even see (or that may happen after our physical passing from this world).  Our forgetfulness does not interfere with His faithfulness.  He understands our human weakness, especially regarding prayer, and thus often works to prepare and provide His answer long after we do not remember making the request.   "He remembered His holy promise" (Psalm 105:42).

   If we have known the Lord for awhile, countless prayers offered have doubtless passed from the bank of our memories.  Not from His though.  He recalls them all just as if we were uttering them in this moment.  Long ago, a godly man and woman sought their Lord amid the heartbreak of an empty womb.  Their prayers dissolved with age and lost prospects of hope.  The same prayers, however, echoed in the ears of their Father until His purposes allowed Him to send Gabriel to herald the answer.  The birth of John the Baptist followed, along with his parents' overwhelmed rejoicing in the God who hears the prayers of His children - and doesn't forget them.  Perhaps we also have prayed some prayers forgotten by us.  Surely we have.  Just as surely, our Father has not.  We do well to remember that.  

"Wait on the Lord.  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Wait on the Lord.  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

"Other Voices"

"Other Voices"

    It is striking that in the wilderness temptation, Satan used the Scriptures in his attempt to entice no less than the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "And saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Matthew 4:6).

    The devil continues to use this tactic against born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  As those devoted to the light and authority of the Bible, we respond when someone speaks in terms of "It is written."  Thankfully, many preachers, teachers, and authors faithfully communicate the truths of God's written Word.  However, it is also true that many don't.  Indeed, if Satan seeks to deceive us through human voices and personalities, where more strategic positions could he place his agents of darkness than pulpits, Sunday School classrooms, and Christian literature?  The sheep tend to easily let down their guard when deceivers wear the garb of shepherds.  The fact that the Lord said, "My sheep hear My voice… and follow Me" does not preclude the possibility that we might also follow false preachers, teachers, and authors (John 10:27).  Indeed, it was to believers that the Apostle Paul warned, "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him" (II Corinthians 11:4).

    "Another Jesus another spirit… another gospel."  Our enemies have no qualms about using the blessed name, influence, and message to mislead us.  They often use holy things to perpetrate their unholy work of deception.  We are all susceptible because the devil and his minions are cunning foes.  If we think we are beyond being deceived, we are deceived already, likely in far more serious ways than we can imagine.  Again, remembering that the devil sought to fell the Lord Jesus with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" should direct a necessary splash of cold water into all our faces (Ephesians 6:17).  Upon being brought to our senses, we must then determine to prayerfully seek the true light of Scripture rightly communicated, interpreted, and applied.  The challenge is great, but our Lord is greater.  He can keep us under the sound of His authentic voice as long as we realize that other voices may seem similar to His.  Long ago, the Apostle John joined Paul in warning us, and we do well to heed the counsel of both our brothers...

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
 (I John 4:1)
"For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
(Romans 16:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Wait on the Lord.  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14)

Monday, August 20, 2018

"As the Day Begins"

"As the Day Begins"

    For many believers, present company included, the initial thoughts and sensibilities of each new day are not immediately Godward.  It takes some time to realize the reality of our existence, namely, that "in Him we live and move and have our being" and "to live is Christ" (Acts 17:28; Philippians 1:21).  The conditions and circumstances of the present world seem far more with us, leading to focus on ourselves regarding how we feel, what we have to do today, and any number of notions that do not immediately anchor our hearts in the Life of our lives.

    "My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, o Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee and will look up" (Psalm 5:3).

    The Psalmist helps us in this matter.  He clearly testifies to making a choice regarding a Godward focus and orientation as the day begins - in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee and will look up."  He does not mean this as a matter of programmed inevitability, but but as chosen response to the Lord's presence and truth.  Moreover, the response involves conviction rather than emotional or physical sensibility.  Again, few believers awaken with spiritual realities as the herald that greets them into the new day.  This raises the question, what most leads us to join the Psalmist to "look up" as the day begins?

    For me, the answer lies in the remembrance that regardless of how I feel when first waking up, I nevertheless possess the capacity to affect how the Lord feels.

    "The prayer of the upright is His delight… Sweet is thy voice" (Proverbs 15:8; Song of Solomon 2:14).

    God loves human hearts to the degree that we delight Him with prayers from a voice He deems as sweet to Him.  Let us apply this to our prayers and our voice.  Yours and mine.  We are so beloved by our Heavenly Father that we affect His emotional sensibilities.  For some believers, the first response to such truth may be, "Yeah, I know that because I'm sure I grieve Him far too often!"  Certainly we all do that sometimes.  However, nothing changes the current of love that flows in heart of God for His trusting children in Christ.  Humble and trusting expressions of devotion to Him please His heart.  "The Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Psalm 149:4).  Wherever we may be in our spiritual journey, a sincere heart and a voice directed Heavenward will find a glad response in a gracious Father.  

    Such a clearly Biblical perspective most immerses me in the current of God's love as the day begins.  It reminds me that our feelings are not the issue.  We can affect His feelings.  Somehow, in the wonder of grace, mercy, and redemption in the Lord Jesus Christ, we possess the capacity to influence the emotional sensibilities of our infinite Creator and Redeemer.  

If my voice is sweet to You, Lord, as Your Word declares,
and if somehow You find delight in my prayers.
And if Your face You call me to seek, Lord, Your face I will seek.
And my voice You will hear.  Yes, my voice You will hear.

    Day by day, let us immerse ourselves in the current upon awakening, the current of being loved, and amazingly, the current wherein we may please the heart of God by our response.

"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."
(Psalm 27:8)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Wait on the Lord.  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saturday Songs -31- "Faithful and True"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

Friends: each Saturday this year, we are sending the lyrics and a recorded version of one of our songs.    Frances and I would both likely say this is one of our signature songs, mainly because the message of God's trustworthiness is the theme we seek to communicate in all our ministries.  In Revelation 19, the Lord Jesus Christ is depicted as sitting on a white horse, with the title "Faithful and True."  The song is taken from that.  Also, this is as close to a country song as we get (although country musicians and devotees might disagree! :) When you add a pedal steel guitar track, it pretty much becomes country :) ).  I hope you find it encouraging.  Thanks, Glen

Faithful and True
Words and Music by Glen Davis

There is a heart, so faithful and true,
It bears a scar for me and for you.
And we can know for a lifetime through,
It's faithful and true, faithful and true.
Faithful and true, faithful and true.

There is a grace that makes all things new,
born in that valley our Lord passed through.
Where He was smitten for me and for yo,
So faithful and true, so faithful and true,
Faithful and true, faithful and true.

Forever draws nigh, we'll see His face soon,
Shining in glory, so lovely the view.
And the glad anthem of our hearts will ensue,
Faithful and true, faithful and true.
Faithful and true, faithful and true.

Friday, August 17, 2018

"The Who Of Life"

"The Who Of Life"

    What is life, as defined by God and His Word, the Bible?  Scripture plainly states the answer.

    "He is thy life… Christ is our life… To live is Christ" (Deuteronomy 30:20; Colossians 3:4; Philippians 1:21).  

    Life is a "Who" rather than a "what."  This constitutes both good and bad news.  First, it is the most encouraging of messages to know we can be truly alive through the Lord Jesus Christ, and then to live in the experience and expression of  "the hope of glory, which is Christ in you" (Colossians 1:27).  God made us to be His spiritual temple, "the habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22).  He alone provides the Life of our lives.  The bad news, at least to our flesh, is that nothing else can substitute.  Perceiving anything other than Christ as our life is actually death to our hearts, and hopeless delusion regarding our behaviors and doings.  Of such wisdom, Solomon declared, "he that findeth me findeth life," and "all they that hate me love death" (Proverbs 8:35-36).

    I once spoke to a young lady whose difficulties in circumstance, situation, and condition led her to cry in forlorn despair, "I don't have a life!"  The girl was a born again believer, which led me to gently but unequivocally explain to her that she failed to realize what - Who - life actually is.  Indeed, if we wait for acceptable circumstance, situation, and condition to perceive ourselves as alive and living, we wait for that which will never come.  As the Lord Jesus said, "A man's life consisteth not in abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15).  People, places, possessions, health, career, family, friends and opportunities to do what we desire - none of these can rightly be viewed as our life.  Such things become idols when viewed as the substance and satisfaction of our living.  They become a deadly trap.  "They served their idols, which were a snare unto them" (Psalm 106:36).

    The young lady did have a life.  Christ Himself served that role.  He is the Life of our lives.  Nothing else qualifies.    We could lose every thing, but if Christ remained, we would still be alive and capable of truly living.  This is the most blessed truth to our spirits, but hard to our flesh that longs for substitutes.  There are none.  Again, "He is thy life… Christ is our life… To live is Christ."  We must build the altar within our hearts whereupon we sacrifice all imposters in order that Christ only remains in our awareness and affirmation as the Life of our lives.  Yes, life is a "Who" rather than a "what."

"God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
(I John 4:9)
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Romans 6:11)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me."
(John 5:39)