Sunday, November 23, 2008

Psalm 103:1--5

"Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle."

Of the distinctives that mark the believer's life which can cause a watching world to sit up and take notice, attitude and perspective surely rank near the top. And of the passages of Scripture used by the Lord to warm our hearts, and elicit our adoring worship, this is among the choicest. It is a self-sermon, preached by David to his own soul, in which he exhorts himself to hold nothing back in praising the LORD. And notice a key shift he makes in this process of praise: he moves from the general to the specific-- from general adoration of His holy character, David contemplates specific gracious acts the LORD has accomplished on his soul's behalf. By so doing, intensity is added to his praise, his perspective is transformed more deeply than had he stayed general in his praise, and his attitude becomes worshipful in the process.

As we meditate on specifics represented by each of these phrases, we too will experience such change, to the praise of His Name!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Psalm 9:10

"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You."

From the very first tempting of Eve by the serpent, with his seemingly innocent question, "Indeed, has God said....?" (Gen. 3:1), doubting God's goodness has permeated mankind's spirit. Sin's effects, such as misery, disease, death, and destruction have caused some to reject His existence, while others question His character in causing/allowing such to occur. Such blame makes it plain they do not know Him.

To others, however, He has revealed Himself through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, renewing their mind as He quickens their spirit, giving the ability to know Him, spiritually. From that moment of salvation onward, the unrelenting goal of the believer is to know Him, ever more intimately.

For, to know Him is to love Him. To know Him is to speak of Him artlessly, without thought of others' scornful response. To know Him dearly is to find Him more precious than any other relationship. And, yes, to know Him is to trust Him, finding Him flawlessly faithful, wonderfully worthy of waiting upon for wisely-timed responses.

"Remind me, too, Father, of this verse in times of feeling forsaken... for You have promised here to never forsake Your seeking ones. Sometimes I'm not even aware I'm pursuing You, but Your blessed Holy Spirit quietly urges me into Your presence, to find grace to help in time of need. How deeply I know You is Your gracious doing; how little I trust is my own. Thank You for not being through with me, yet.
In the Name of Your risen, sovereign Son, I pray,

Sunday, November 2, 2008

John 11:43---46

"Lazarus, Come out!" It was a command from the sovereign Son of God, and compliance was instantaneous. There in the inky blackness of the sealed tomb, Lazarus' pulse was restored, his awareness returned, and suddenly light invaded his space as trembling hands loosened his wrappings! As he emerged alive from that place of death, some rejoiced. Some rejected. But no one remained the same. The Lord of life did not leave that option open, and He still doesn't today.

He either is who He said He is, or He isn't. His claim to being the one and only avenue of access to the heavenly Father (John 14:6) is either true, or it isn't. He leaves no room for a third choice, for to not decide is a decision in itself: it is a thinly-disguised rejection, which bears the same consequences as outright denial.

Does it matter? Is it all that important? Many say "no" today. God says, "he who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." (I John 5:12).

Will we take Him seriously?