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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Anyone Can Call Upon Christ!

Rom 10:12 (KJV)  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

The Only Taste That Satisfies…

1Pet 2:3 (KJV)  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.

Psalm 117 Small Psalm with a Big Message

Psalm 117 is the shortest Psalm in the Bible.  It is made up of 2 verses which are made up of 33 words.  It also takes its place as the middle chapter of the Bible.  Although not as well-known as some of the other Psalms; this Psalm takes its place as not only a conspicuous, but also one of the most important of all the Psalms.

This Psalm in spite of its short length contains several of the main themes we find throughout the Holy Scriptures: the need to praise God, His mercy that is shown to man; and the truthfulness of His Word. As a matter of fact, the principles we read of in Psa 117 are so important that the Apostle Paul quoted portions of this Psalm in Romans 15:11.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Psalm 117:1-2

THE STUDY:

Psa 117:1 – O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 

The Requirement…

O praise the LORD, … praise him, …

In the first verse, we find a universal truth that applies to every inhabitant of the world… the requirement to “Praise the Lord”.   What do we mean by the term “praise”?   In this verse two different Hebrew words are translated “praise”.

1.  In the first phrase “praise”  is derived from the Hebrew word “halal”  which has the idea of drawing other’s attention to an object that has been beautified.

Think of it like this…. a man is throwing a victory party after winning a trophy in an athletic contest.  He takes the trophy, polishes it until it shines brightly, clears off the mantle above his fireplace and then places the trophy on display on the center of the mantel to be clearly seen by all party attendees.

He has done everything He can for others to see his trophy.  He invited them to his house to see it, he shined it to attract their attention, he placed it where it was conspicuous and can be easily examined.  This is how we should share our Lord with others every day.  This is the first word for “praise”.

2.  In the second phrase “praise” is translated from the Hebrew word “shabach”.   This word carries with it two basic ideas… “to speak loudly” and “to pacify, to bring peace, to keep a relationship”.

The basic idea is this… The greatness of our Lord demands that He be glorified and honored.  One of the ways we can meet this requirement is through boldly, unashamedly telling others of His greatness. One extreme example of this is a street preacher would proclaim the truths of God loudly so all could hear his message.

By meeting this requirement, as Christians, in a sense we are “keeping peace with God”.. In other words, by keeping His commands to be a faithful witness, we will be pleasing to God and allowing unhindered communion to take place.  In that sense we are keeping peace with God by keeping our responsibility to Him.

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Who Is Required To Do These Things?…

… all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 

Who is to praise the Lord?  Everyone!

Nations” is the Hebrew word “gowy” and refers to Gentile nations. Remember, in those days Gentiles were commonly restricted from the temple worship.  Here, the Psalmist is emphasizing that not simply Jews, but Gentiles also, are held accountable to praise the Lord, although it was not a common occurrence.

People” is the Hebrew word “any collection or group of people” which would include both Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, bond and free, black and white, male and female.  Here, the Psalmist is emphasizing that ALL mankind, no matter what might be their gender, nationality, language, race etc etc is obligated to praise its Creator and Lord.

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The Reason For The Requirement….

Psa 117:2 – For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Now the Psalmist explains the dual basis for the requirement to praise Him in all things…

his merciful kindness is great toward us”

First of all, we are to praise Him because of His “merciful kindness”.  The term “merciful kindness” comes from a single Hebrew word “checed” .  Checed is a type of kindness shown to the undeserving that beautifies the giver.

Mother Teresa is a wonderful example of this kind of kindness.  She went and invested her life in helping the needy in foreign lands.  She was not obligated to do this, she did it of her choosing.  In spite of her being physically unattractive, she became VERY attractive and honorable to all who knew of her wonderful works of kindness.

Our Lord’s kindness on our behalf demands that we praise and honor Him.  He deserves it. His works of self-sacrificial kindness to us prominently excels over any acts of kindness performed by fallen man.  Keep in mind His temporal, earthly, kindness is shown to lost and saved alike (Matt 5:45).  Because of this ALL MANKIND is to praise and honor Him.

the truth of the LORD endureth for ever”

The second reason that we are obligated to praise our Lord is because His Word endureth forever.  The phrase “endureth forever” is based on one Hebrew word (gabar) that means “to go to the vanishing point”  “time out of mind” or “forever”.

What a wonderful certainty!  The truths of God’s Word exist as far as the eye can see.  We cannot even imagine a time in our mind when His Word will become null and void.  His truths are in effect throughout eternity.  His Word contains truths that apply to both just and unjust.  Also, keep in mind His Word is to be taken to all the world (Acts 1:8). No wonder all mankind is to praise and honor the Lord for His eternal truths.

PRACTICAL  APPLICATION:

To those who are saved:

1Pet 2:9-10 (KJV)

9) But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

10) Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Need I say more?

To those who are not saved:

Acts 14:15-17 (KJV)

15) And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

16) Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

17)Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Won’t you turn to Christ?  He has been so kind to all of us.

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Christ Saves To The Uttermost…

Heb 7:25 (KJV)  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Preparing For The Unknown

We are all faced with the unknown every minute of every day.  In a matter of a few short moments the path of our life can be radically, permanently, altered.  In a moment or two we can be involved in a devastating car accident; our Doctor can relate to us our latest test results that are as flagged as “malignant”; our preteen daughter can tell us of their unplanned pregnancy; or we can receive a phone call telling us of the death of a loved one.  The list goes on and on.

This type of event is actually quite common.  How many of us can honestly say that our life has never been shaken by an unforeseen occurrence?  For the few of us who have escaped this experience, we should count ourselves highly blessed of God.   For most of us, we know the gut wrenching feeling of having our lives thrown into turmoil suddenly and unexpectedly.

What are we to do when these events intrude into our lives?  How can we prepare for these times?  Is it possible to face these unforeseen events with peace and confidence?  Let’s take a few moments to search for the answer to these questions in the Word of God.

We will be looking at our Lord’s teachings on ways to prepare for the unknown by looking at the writings of four great men: Solomon, Isaiah, James and God Himself, Jesus Christ.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Proverbs 27:1          Isaiah 56:1,2,12       James 4:13-16                   Matthew 6:33-34

THE STUDY:

The Lesson We Can Learn From Solomon:

King Solomon, under the leadership of the Spirit of God, recognized the uncertain future of every man when he penned Proverbs 27:1…  Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.  

Solomon understood that we all have a tendency to forget the uncertainty of our lives; many times, we assume that we can control what takes place in our future.  One day passes and then the next with no tragedies or unexpected incidents so we begin to assume that our life will continue on in this way.  In Solomon’s wisdom he reminds us to never make such an assumption.

From Solomon we learn to never assume we can know or control what the future holds for us.  We are to always live life recognizing that the very nature of our physical life on earth is one of uncertainty.  Because of this, we must take care to be sure we are prepared for what may lie ahead.

The Lesson We Can Learn From Isaiah:

Another mistake many of us make is to assume that the future will always bring increased prosperity to us.  The false prophets of Isaiah’s day were prophesying a very clear message…  Tomorrow you will be more prosperous than today… therefore, it’s party time… live it up!  Isa 56:12…  Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant.  

Isaiah’s message, on the other hand, was directly opposite to the message of the false prophets. He declared that Judah needed to come to the Lord exercising repentance and submission to His will for their lives. It would be through submission to Jehovah that they would be assured of the Lord’s presence with them.  We find Isaiah’s message to Judah earlier in this same chapter Isa 56:1-2… Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation [is] near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.  Blessed [is] the man [that] doeth this, and the son of man [that] layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

If we understand the person and work of our Lord we can easily understand the importance of His presence with us during these uncertain times that we face.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is:

  1. A Caring Friend that sticketh closer than a brother, we will never be alone. (Pro 18:24)
  2. The Sovereign Lord who can intervene in any event we may face (1 Tim 6:15-16)
  3. The Enabling Savior who promises to give us mercy and strength in times of need (Heb 4:16)
  4. The Understanding Deity who fully understands what we are going through (Heb 4:14-15, 1 Cor 4:5)
  5. Covenant Maker that promises if we are His, anything we face will be for our benefit (Rom 8:28)
  6. The Loving God that will love us with a love from which we cannot be separated  (Roms 8:35-39)
  7. The Comforter who give us peace and security in the midst of future events in life (John 14:16-18)

From Isaiah we learn of our need to recognize the uncertainty of our future and the absolute necessity to have unhindered communion with our Lord. 

(For those who have never had a personal relationship with Christ, by coming to Christ in repentance and belief, you can be receive forgiveness of your sins and enter into a living relationship of communion with Jesus.)

(For those who are saved, we are to be glorifying Christ with our lives and to repent of the sin that enters our lives… guaranteeing unhindered communion with Him.)

The Lesson We Can Learn From James:

James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us of the uncertainty of our future in James 4:13-16… Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 

James is explaining that our future is not in our hands.  He tells us that our lives are temporal and that we cannot know with certainty that our life will extend another day.

He goes further to emphasize that our Lord is the One that controls the future events in our lives.  And since our very life is controlled by the Lord, His will for our future will come to pass.  Our future is in His hands, it is under His control.  His desires will take place in our life and all of our plans for the future are to be made in submission to His will.

From James we learn to recognize our Lord is in control of our future and our need to recognize that control and fittingly, make our plans in alignment with His revealed will for our lives.

The Lesson We Can Learn From Christ:

In Matthew 6:33-34, our Lord addresses the same issue of preparation for the unknown future.  In His teachings, we find a fitting summary of the Bible principles that we have already studied…  

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.

When we desire for the Lord to rule our lives and we are seeking to understand and fulfill His will we can be assured that He will supply our needs.  He will make certain His will is done in our lives and that which He supplies to us will be for our good. (Rom 8:28).

From Christ we learn that there is no need for worry or concern.  The Lord will always take care of the future needs of His people, always working for their benefit and His glory.

PRACTICAL  APPLICATION:

How to prepare for an unknown future is clearly described to us within the pages of God’s Holy Word.

These principles of preparedness can be summarized as follows:

  1. We must come to an understanding that what our future holds is beyond our knowledge and our control.  However, this same future is under the control of the Sovereign of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Because the future is not known by us, nor is it in our control, we must make certain that we have a relationship with Christ, the One who controls every aspect of our future. It is through repentance of sin and faith in Christ and His work, that we can receive forgiveness, justification and enter into communion with Him.
  3. Once we possess communion with Christ, our desires will be pointed toward submission to His will in every aspect of our lives.  This includes a desire for His will to be done in our lives as the future unfolds to us.
  4. As our future unfolds before us, we can face whatever may take place with no anxiety but with peace and a feeling of security.  We can know that our Lord is with us, will care for us, and will bring about what is for our good and His glory.

Ps 46:1-3 God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;[Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Chosen To Salvation and Service Before The World Began!

Eph 1:4-6 (KJV)  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 13:13b

1Cor 13:13 (KJV)  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

In our final look at 1 Cor 13:13, we’ll be looking at the phrase but the greatest of these [is] charity”.   When comparing the graces of faith, hope, and love; the grace of love is the greatest of the three.

The question that is immediately brought to our mind is “Why is love considered the greatest of the three?”  Although this question was obvious, the answer is not as clear, nor do we come to it quickly.  After all, we are saved by faith, how could there be a greater grace?  The second coming of our Lord is described as “the blessed hope” what greater grace keeps us motivated and consistent in our service to Christ?  Why then is love described as the greatest of the three?

I believe the answer rests in the context of this verse.  Keep in mind, we saw in the last devotion that, in comparison to the short lived gifts of prophecy, knowledge and tongues, the graces of faith, hope and love “abideth” (ie lasted for a longer period of time).  The theme of this verse is comparing the length of existence of God’s gifts and graces. Keeping with this theme helps us to understand why love is greater than faith or hope.  Love will exist long after faith and hope have gone out of existence.

Love is the only eternal grace of the three.  Keep in mind, faith is defined in God’s Word as the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebs 11:).  Faith will only be exercised this side of heaven.  Once we enter our eternal home at His second coming, we will no longer exercise faith because all will then be seen and the substance of all we have hoped for will be received.   Hope is the assurance of the fulfillment of God’s promises.  Following the second coming, and our entrance into our eternal home, there will be no promises left to be fulfilled, hence, no need for hope.

But when it comes to love, we will exercise love throughout our eternal existence with Christ.  We will be loving our Savior and loving our spiritual family members for an eternally.  This is one of the greatest reasons why love is the greatest gift compared to knowledge, prophecy, tongues, hope and faith.

What a privilege it is to be able to exercise the eternal grace of love even while we are yet in our temporal existence here on earth.  What a wonderful declaration of what eternity will be like when we exercise our love for Christ and others here on earth.  As we begin our day, let us seek to sincerely display the wonderful eternal grace of God’s love that He has given to His people.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

To Whom Will You Look When Trouble Comes?

Judg 10:13-14 (KJV)  Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.  Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Cor 13:13

1Cor 13:13 (KJV)  13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

This verse is a very popular and instructive verse that contains much practical information for us all.  I would like us to take two days to look at this verse and try to “dig up” some of the riches within them.   For this morning, I would like us to look at the phrase And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three”.

To understand what we are being taught by this phrase, it is really important that we understand its context.  In 1 Cor 13: we find the Apostle Paul addressing the spiritual gifts that were given to the local churches before the completion of God’s Word… prophecies, tongues and knowledge  (vs 8-9).

All three of these gifts were directly related to the revealing of God’s Word to mankind.  The gifts of prophecies and knowledge were used to reveal His Word, whereas the gift of tongues was used to accredit the Word that was being newly revealed to man.  We are told that when the disclosure of God’s perfect Word was brought to completion, so too, the method of disclosure (knowledge  and prophecy vs 10).

Also we are told that the gift of tongues would end when the Word was fully accredited and the recipients of the gift of tongues would physically die.  (We can see this principle in the phrase “whether there be tongues, they will cease” (vs 9).  In this phrase the term “will cease” is the Greek verb form that means “to cease in and of themselves”.  In other words, once the Word of God was complete, and proven to be genuine, there would be no longer a need for the gift to be passed on to another generation and therefore, it would gradually “die off in and of itself” as the recipients of the gift passed away.

All of this context is very important to our study of verse 13, because when our text makes the statement “And now abideth”, it is saying that the gifts of faith, hope and charity would continue on past Paul’s day.  This is in direct comparison to the gifts of knowledge, prophecies and tongues which were to cease very quickly following the completion of the Bible in approx. 100 AD.

Paul is assuring us that even though the revelation/accreditation gifts of prophecy, knowledge and tongues would cease soon after the 1st century, we had nothing to fear, the Lord would still be working our midst.  This would be proven by the continuing graces of faith, hope and charity (love) being given to man. And this is why we are told that “love never fails” in comparison to the gifts that would “fail” and “cease” shortly after the death of Paul (vs 8).

Folks, as we enter our day of service, when we find ourselves trusting Him (faith), looking to the future with assurance in His coming promises (hope) or giving of ourselves for Him and others from a heart of adoration (love)… let’s keep in mind these are all proofs that He is still working in our midst, enabling us to continue to serve Him and fulfill His divine calling for our lives.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

Please note: for those  who desire a more in depth study of the ending of these three gifts of revelation/accreditation mentioned in our study please refer to my 3-part Valentine’s day series on 1 Cor 13:…. This series posts can be found here…

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/but-the-greatest-of-these-is-love-part-1/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/valentine%e2%80%99s-day-devotionbut-the-greatest-of-these-is-love-2/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/valentine%e2%80%99s-day-devotion-but-the-greatest-of-these-is-love-part-3/

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SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Do We Enter Church Ready To Hear God’s Voice?

Eccl 5:1 (KJV)  Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 103:19

Ps 103:19 (KJV)  19) The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

In our Scripture we find a wonderful principle that brings peace and comfort, as well as a great responsibility, to the people of God. What is this principle?  Our Lord is in total, absolute control over everything.  This basic principle is so important, that in this one verse, it is expressed two different ways and, in doing so, reveals two different aspects of that rule… it’s origin and it’s scope…

First, we are told that “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens”. 

1.  A throne is a seat that symbolizes the absolute ruling authority of a King.   Knowing that God sits on a throne in heaven teaches us that He holds the authority to reign as a king.

2. When this verse says that the Lord has “prepared” His throne it is teaching us that the Lord hath “erected” or “set up” His own throne.  This helps us to understand that the Lord has given Himself the authority to rule.  No one gave it to Him.  He is the Eternal Possessor of all types of authority and, therefore, the Ultimate Source of authority and rulership…. All authority flows FROM Him, none flows to Him.

3.  We are told that it is prepared “in the heavens”.  This shows us that the scope of His rule includes heaven and is far above the earth (implying that His rule is also over the entire earth and all the differing levels of authority therein).

Secondly, the verse continues, “and his kingdom ruleth over all

1.  Here, we are told that He possess a “kingdom”.  Here we have affirmed for the second time that our God possesses the absolute authority to rule as a King.

2.  In the phrase “ruleth over all” we have the scope of His rule made plain for all to see.  His authority transcends all other existing authorities, period… “No ifs ands or buts about it”.  By saying “all” the verse is implying both in heaven and earth; existing in the past, present or future; in the physical and spiritual realms;  HE RULES OVER ALL.

As I said in the beginning of this study…. The truth of God’s sovereign rule is a great blessing to us all… why is this?  Because, knowing He is in control assures us of His ultimate victory over, Satan, Sin, Death and any other sinful power in this world…. Rev 17:14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.There are MANY practical applications to this truth that we will have to look at in a later study.  But for now, it is enough to simply realize He is, and will be, Victor over all.

But also, I said that this truth revealed a great responsibility for us all.  It is the responsibility to be in subjection to the powers of this world that are over us…. Rom 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”  The only exception to this principle is when the powers of this world stand in opposition to the commands of the Lord.  In only those instances, are we allowed to stand in opposition and disobedience to the powers of this world.

As we begin our day, let us remember that He is in control… and because of this, we are guaranteed to ultimately be victorious over the darkness of this world, through the Sovereign power of our Lord. And the let us go forth, proclaiming our belief and respect for His authority,  by living lives that are in submission to the worldly authorities that are over us.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Need Advice? Look To Christ…

Isa 9:6-7 (KJV)  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.   Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 119:81-83c

Ps 119:81-83 (KJV)  81)  My soul fainteth for thy salvation: [but] I hope in thy word.  82) Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? 83) For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; [yet] do I not forget thy statutes.

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed to be hopeless?  Did you ever feel as if you were all alone as you faced a tragedy in your life?  Here, in our text we find the author of this Psalm (probably King David) recording an event in which he felt both hopeless and alone.  In the next three “Think on These Things” we will be looking at these verses, trying to find a remedy when we face these same feelings during our walk on earth. As we continue our study, we are going to see that the remedy will involve different aspects of God’s Word.

All three of these verses follow a pattern involving two basic parts:

a. an explanation of his feelings during times of tragedy                b. a remedy for those feelings

In today’s devotion, the final of our three part series, I would like us to look at verse 83 –

For I am become like a bottle in the smoke;

In the days that this Psalm was written a “bottle” referred to a bag made from the bladder, stomach or skins of  animals sown together to form a container for solids or liquids.  When placed above a flame these bottles became brittle, dried out and worthless to its user.

The Psalmist is telling us that during this dreadful time of trial, he felt as if he was gradually falling apart, fading away, and prematurely aging, rendering him useless to the Lord and to others.   In other words, he felt as if this trial he was facing was gradually “killing him”.   (Psa 31:9-10, Psa 102:1-9)

[yet] do I not forget thy statutes.

In the midst of his feelings of uselessness, decay and ruin, the Psalmist tells us of the importance of God’s Word.  Unlike the previous two verses, the Psalmist uses the term “statutes” to describe God’s Word.  Why is this?  The idea of a “statute” involves a responsibility that is handed down, or to be appointed to a position or ministry.  As the Psalmist looked to His Word, he was being reminded of the responsibilities God had placed upon him.  But along with teaching him about his responsibilities, he is told of His promise to enable him to serve.

Most certainly, if he was left to himself the Psalmist would be like the bottle in smoke, unable to complete the tasks laid before him.  However, the Lord promised to him that He would intervene and enable him to do what He had called him to do.

When the tragedies of life seemingly render us useless, in His Word, we find that the Lord not only calls us to serve Him but enables us as well.  Although we may feel unable, He is working in us, empowering us to do that which would be humanly impossible.

1. In the first installment of this series we saw that when the burdens of this life bring about feelings that we cannot continue on, we can receive strength through His Word that we will be delivered from this present evil world and enter into the eternal presence of our Savior, the Lord Jesus.
2. In the second installment of this series we saw that, when our burdens leave us with feelings of loneliness and abandonment, we are to run to His Word and live in it, seeking truths about the Lord’s person, works and promises of blessings on our behalf.
3. In this final installment we find that, when our trials seem to render us useless, not only does the Lord call us to serve, but He graciously works in us enabling us to fulfill our calling.

The key to standing in the midst of the trials of this life is staying in the Word. It is in His Word that we find strength, comfort and hope to continue on faithfully until we go home to be with Him.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Christ Perfectly Reveals God To Man..

Col 1:15 (KJV)  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 119:81-83b

Ps 119:81-83 (KJV)
 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: [but] I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; [yet] do I not forget thy statutes.

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed to be hopeless?  Did you ever feel as if you were all alone as you faced a tragedy in your life?  Here, in our text we find the author of this Psalm (probably King David) recording an event in which he felt both hopeless and alone.  In the next three “Think on These Things” we will be looking at these verses, trying to find a remedy when we face these same feelings during our walk on earth. As we continue our study, we are going to see that the remedy will involve different aspects of God’s Word.

All three of these verses follow a pattern involving two basic parts:

a. an explanation of his feelings during times of tragedy           b. a remedy for those feelings

In our last devotion we saw that when the burdens of this life bring about feelings that we cannot continue on, we can receive strength through the assurance that we will be delivered from this present evil world and enter into the eternal presence of our Savior, the Lord Jesus.

In today’s devotion I would like us to look at verse 82 –  In this study we will begin by looking at the second part of the text and then finish by looking at the first part of this verse.

saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

Here we find two emotions that the Psalmist is experiencing as he goes through this unnamed, devastating trial…. It is the emotions of loneliness and impatience.  Please notice the Psalmist is assured that the Lord comforts His people who are in need.  How do I know this?  The Psalmist does not say “Will you comfort me?”  Instead, his issue is that he is tired of waiting for this comfort.  It is appearing to him as if the Lord is delaying the promised comfort or else the Lord does not recognize the great need of comfort in his life.

The Psalmist is experiencing a very common emotion that we all have when we take our eyes off our Lord during times of trials.  It is the emotion that leads us to cry out, “Lord, where are you?”… “Dear Lord, do you know what I am going through?”… “Lord, do you care about me?”   (Psa 22:1-2)

Mine eyes fail for thy word,

What do we find as the remedy for these feelings of loneliness?  Consistent reading, study and meditation on God through His Word.  Notice that the Psalmist said his eyes were exhausted and began failing him because he was constantly desirous of His Word.  The Psalmist knew that when he was faced with loneliness the only thing he could do was live in the Word.

Why is our living in the Word so important when we feel lonely and deserted?  It is through His Word that the Lord speaks to us, reveals Himself to us and gives us comfort and assurance of His presence and blessings.  This is the exact prescription for the infirmity of loneliness and abandonment…. Constant reminders of God’s presence and wonderful promises He gives to His people. (Psa 119:49-50)

In this verse we can see that, when our burdens leave us with feelings of loneliness and abandonment, we are to run to His Word and live in it, seeking truths about the Lord’s person, works and promises of blessings on our behalf.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Ram: A Picture Of The Substitutionary Death Of Christ For His People.

Gen 22:13 (KJV)  And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

Eph 5:2 (KJV)  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

The Precious Word – Summary Of Our Study (Lesson #13)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

 

INTRODUCTION:

Over the past 12 lessons we have seen that the Word of God has supplied to us the answers to some of life’s most difficult and important questions:

  1. What is the Bible?  Why does it stand out from all the writings of man?
  2. Does God exist? If so, ho is the true God?
  3. Is our existence on earth simply an accident, or were we created by a higher power?  If we are created beings who is our Creator?
  4. Is There a Messiah? If so, what is His identity?
  5. Does sin exist? If so, to whom do we turn to find forgiveness?
  6. Where do we turn to find peace and comfort in the midst of a world that is filled with injustice, pain, suffering, and death?
  7. What takes place at our death? Does our spirit go out of existence or does it continue to exist in a conscious state?
  8. Is there a need to prepare spiritually for our coming death?  If so, what can we do to prepare?
  9. Does genuine lasting happiness and joy exist? If so where can we find them?
  10.  Is there a purpose for our life on earth?  If so, how can we fulfill that purpose?
  11.  Why are there sorrowful, painful events in this world?  If there is a God why does He allow evil in this world?
  12.  Is there a universal standard for right and wrong? If so, where can we find it?

And this list is just the beginning…. We are promised by God Himself, through the writings of the Apostle Paul that God’s Word totally gives us what we need to know to live our lives on planet earth… “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

It is because of this that this precious book, God’s Word handed down to man, should be the chief source of all our knowledge, understanding and wisdom as we live our lives for His honor and glory.

In Psalm 19:7-11, we find a summary of the Word of God and its significance for all mankind. In this study, we will be looking at this set of verses, as a fitting summary and concluding study for our series.

SCRIPTURES:

Ps 19:7-11

(KJV)  7) The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple.  8) The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes.  9) The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether.  10) More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward.

(ESV)  7) The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;  8) ​the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;  9) the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.  10) More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.  11) Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

THE STUDY:

In our text, Ps 19:7-11, we now turn our attention to the significance of God’s Word for our lives…

The flawless Word and its benefits…

In this section of our text we find the Word of God given six different titles:

7) The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul:

The Hebrew word translated “law” means “to draw a line” or “to point in correct direction”. This title teaches us that the Word contains limits that the Lord sets for us to follow. These limits are given to us to keep us from hurting ourselves.

The line that the Lord draws clearly shows us that we are not perfect and we are missing the target He has set for our lives.  The knowledge of our failures before Him shows us our need of repentance which motivates us to turn to Christ as our Lord and Savior resulting in our receipt of spiritual life.

 the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. 

The word for “testimony” means “a witness”.  The Word of God witnesses to us the truth of God.  God, here is acting as a witness for Himself.  He is the only One who has full knowledge of His own person, desires, work and commands.

Once we learn the about God from His Word it makes us wise as we apply these truths to our day to day walk with Him.

8) The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart:

The word that is translated “statutes” refers to “a responsibility given to us by a superior”.  As our Creator and Savior the Lord has all authority over us. The Word is filled with the duties that He has given to us.

These responsibilities are just and, if we keep them, are beneficial to His cause and our well-being. When we keep His statues we can find much joy and happiness in life as we live a blessed life of the Lord.

the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes. 

“Commandment” is a word that means “to arrange, appoint, or set in order”.  The Scriptures help us to set our life in order.

By following its dictates, our eyes are opened to how we can live an orderly, useful life that is fulfilling our purpose for living.

9) The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring for ever:

The word “fear” is translated from a Hebrew word that carries with it the idea of “reverence, respect, and awe”.  It is through the Scriptures that we can come to a partial understanding of the greatness of God and our need to reverence Him.

When we reverence God as we should, we will find ourselves submitting to His authority at our salvation; and it is this salvation that result in clean holy lives.  This type of life results in eternal rewards for those who are faithful to Him.

the judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether.

The word translated “judgments” is defined as “verdicts, or the decrees of a judge”. The Word of God relates to us what God has decided about the many varied issues we may face in life.

Do I want to know what God thinks of a certain action?  What about a decision I am about to make?  His Word will tell us.  At that point, we will know the Lord’s lawful and just assessment of any subject.

The priceless Word and its preeminence…

10) More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 

The value of God’s Word to both saved and unsaved is described in two ways:

  1. More valuable than a great quantity of fine gold – This describes the value of God’s commands in terms of worldly wealth.  The Word is more valuable for us than the most valuable riches this world has to offer.
  2. Sweeter than fresh honey from the comb – This is comparing the benefits of the Scriptures to one of the most delicious and beneficial of foods of this world.  The Word gives a better type of strength, nourishment and enjoyment than that of sweet honey.

 

The cautioning Word and its result…

11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward.

The Word of God contains many warnings from the Lord that is given to mankind for their protection and gain.

By listening to the admonitions of the Lord, we will escape great sorrows in life.  By heeding His counsel we will lead lives that are pleasing to God and secure eternal rewards as faithful servants.

THE APPLICATION:

In our text, and throughout our series, we have seen many different aspects of God’s Word.  One of the many things that all these features of His Word have in common is the fact that, in every case, they are beneficial to anyone who is willing to apply its truths to their lives.

The application of His Word will result in the reception of many various blessings.  Some of these blessings we will be able to enjoy during our lifetime on earth, but in many cases, these blessings have eternal significance enjoined to them.  One of the greatest eternal benefits we will receive are rewards for our service which we will be able to lay back at our Lord’s feet as a way of giving Him all the praise for His Word and the enabling we needed to serve Him. (Rev 4:10-11)

Realizing the wonderful blessing of His Word that He has handed down to us, let us all join together with the Psalmist and share the great desire of his heart…. to praise and honor our Lord for His Word and its many benefits to us….

Ps 138:2-3

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.   In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, [and] strengthenedst me [with] strength in my soul.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to:  http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx

For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

Is Our Faith Genuine? #3

The Conclusion of Our Study – Essential Of Faithfulness Heb 10:26-39…”

In Hebrews 10:1-39, we find a text that is dedicated to warning professing Christians of their need to make certain they are the recipients of God’s grace.  Let us all take time to carefully study this passage and then apply these truths to our lives.   This could make the difference between spending eternity with our Lord and spending eternity in the Lake of Fire.

We are to NEVER make uneducated, flippant assumptions about our spiritual condition….

Matt 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Hebrews 10:26-39

THE STUDY:

The Conclusion of Our Study – The Essential Of Faithfulness – Heb 10:26-39…

(26)  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  (27)  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 

If we believe He cleansed us from our sins, how can we willfully choose to :

  1. NOT draw near to Him wanting unhindered fellowship and leading of our lives? (vs 22)
  2. NOT hold fast a consistent profession of our faith for others to see and hear? (vs 23)
  3. NOT care and love our spiritual family (vs 24)
  4. Forsake the assembly of His people by rejecting the meeting of His church and denying the promise and hope of His second coming?  (vs 25)

After receiving the truth of His salvation and the need to be living witnesses for Him, to choose to desert these teachings is proof that the sacrifice of Christ had never been applied to our sins.  It is clear that we have never been saved, in spite of what we may have believed about our spiritual condition.

All we have to look forward to is fear as we receive a sentence of eternal punishment that will be shared by all those who are opposed to Christ.

(28)  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  (29)  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Of those who rejected the 10 commandments were sentenced to death in the OT, how much greater punishment can we expect if we have heard the truth, claimed to be a follower of that same set of truths and then apostatize (reject what we had claimed to have once believed).

In doing this, we are stomping Christ into the ground; calling His shed blood impure and of no value;  and done insult to the ministry of the Spirit of grace.  In other words, we have willfully counted as worthless the doctrines we once claimed to believe.

(30)  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  (31)  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 

How can we know, with certainty, that we are headed for eternal punishment when we reject that which we claim to possess?  We must simply remember Christ’s position as judge and His attribute of justice.

The Lord makes it plain that He will:

1. show Vengeance –  vindicate Himself while punishing wrongdoing.
2. make Recompense – to repay in like kind
3. Judge – to render decision to punish fairly

When we recognize His position as impartial judge over all, we should fear Him realizing that we all will be held accountable for our profession of faith.  Was it a genuine, gracious intervention by our Lord or an outward hypocritical declaration coming from the lips of sinful man?

Someday we all will face a living God who will justly judge our profession of faith in comparison to our life that was lived.

(32)  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;  (33)  Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.  (34)  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 

It is explained that a great encouragement to hold fast to our profession of faith is found in our remembrance of our previous faithfulness to Christ.  The Jewish believers faced great times of persecution at the hands of their enemies and, yet, they remained faithful to the Lord.

Also, they showed great concern for others who faced persecution as well, by giving of their possessions to other persecuted Christians.   They did this because they realized they had far greater riches awaiting them throughout eternity.

(35)  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.  (36)  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  (37)  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 

They were to remain confident of their salvation and continue strong in their service to Him.  All they needed was patience.  It would be then that they would receive the blessings of their Lord.  They were to realize that Christ was soon to come and help those who were facing persecution and opposition for their faith.

(38)  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  (39)  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

The outstanding characteristic of one that is genuinely saved is that they live their life by faith.  This includes continually trusting in the truths of God they have heard, learned and experienced in their lives.  Trusting in their Lord will become a way of life.  Their life will be characterized by an attitude of trust as they live their life for Him.

If any man draws back from his faith, becoming apostate, God will have no pleasure with them.  This truth was affirmed in the Old Testament and now being referenced in the New Testament as well (Ezek 18:24).

For those who have received the authentic salvation that proceeds from our Lord they will continue on to the salvation of their souls.  Their consistent life of faithfulness will be their proof they have been saved and therefore, will receive their souls salvation in the last day.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

The preceding verses gave us ample information to make a Godly judgment concerning each of our lives.   In this posting we have come face to face with the principle we find in Ezek 18:24…

But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

Let us all make sure our faith is a living, consistent, continuing faith.  For a professing Christian this is the most important question that he can seek to answer.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Life Is In Christ Alone…

1John 5:11-12 (KJV)  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Ever “In The Dark” About What To Do Next?

Ps 119:105 (KJV)  NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

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