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Psalm 6 – The Confident Prayer of David

When life’s struggles surround you, to whom to you turn? Who do you consider to be the refreshment of strength that you need to keep pushing forwards when the pathways get steep? David would answer that question with: the Lord. Would you?

David was in a tough time, as he usually found himself; he called out for God’s help in this psalm, as he usually would.

Psalm 6:1-7 – Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long? Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

This sounds like David is in a period of intense struggle. The author would wonder what times of hardship do you go through that would hurt as much as David was hurting. Who do you consider as the source of help? Can you be willing to take your care to God in trouble? Now look at David’s confidence in the Lord.

Psalm 6:8-10 – Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weepingThe Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayerLet all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

David believed that God would protect him. If David through his trials knew he would be protected, what do we have to fear today, with God’s help?

Psalm 3 – Living with God’s Protection (Part 2)

In the last post, the author looked at the first five verses of Psalm 3, and today he will conclude the study by looking at verses 6-8.

Who should you be afraid of?

God chooses and desires to take care of his followers, whether they be a shepherd boy in Bible times, or a teenager in modern times. While people will try and impose fear on a Christian’s life, Christians must take care to remember the promises that David writes about in his psalms about God.

Psalm 3:6-8 – I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

What a powerful promise this is by itself, but let the reader see how David viewed this promise as so real to himself. He lived in a time where different nations armies would literally group together to destroy Israel, often bringing thousands of soldiers to attack. If David put his trust so much so in God that he was not worried about thousands of soldiers, how much more sure can we be today to put our trust in God to protect us from the few that revile us because of the God we serve?

To conclude, there is nobody to fear if we are serving God. He will be on our side! Rest in this promise today, and whenever men revile you “for my name’s sake.”(Matthew 10:22)

 

Psalm 3 – Living with God’s Protection (Part 1)

Psalm 3 is a psalm where the writer, David, was asking for deliverance from God in a time of need. What David was asking deliverance from is not of major importance, but what is important is Who David asked for protection and strength. This will be a recurring theme in the book of Psalms, but for today Psalm 3 will be the focus of study.

David starts out the psalm with a problem, and David knew to take his problem directly to God. Often Christians want to deal with problems themselves, but taking problems to the God to whom nothing is impossible probably is not a bad idea in any circumstance. Here is David’s problem.

Psalm 3 :1-2 – Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

Mockery of followers of God by the world is not something that just took place in Bible times; it takes place today as well. The world is opposed to the God Christians serve, and Satan uses the world to steer Christians away from the truth. David records the obvious answer from God to his problem.

Psalm 3:3 – But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

God is protecting Christians still today, just as He protected David from the bear, the lion, the giant, or King Saul. If that does not fill you with confidence to go forth and do what God would have you to do, then the author is not sure what would. Trust that God takes care of His own.

Psalm 3:4 – I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

David had to ask God for help; likewise Christians today should do the same the answers to prayer may not always be what we expect, but no answer to prayer throw’s God’s plan for your life out of order. David’s prayer was answered.

Psalm 3:5 – I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

 

Part 2 will be out on Wednesday.

Psalm 1 – Living a Godly Life (Part 2)

In the first post on Psalm 1, the two ways of life, living for God and living for self, were contrasted. From Psalm 1:1-2, two principles were drawn out that relate to godly living. One, having people in your life that would steer you to God; two, spending time serving God rather than spending time serving self. The remaining verses of Psalm 1 answer the follow question.

Why live a godly life?

Psalm 1:3-4 – And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

The first reason to live a godly life is found in these two verses. The fruitful and faithful Christian shall prosper through God’s help in his life, while the ungodly man shall not, as he is without God’s help. Pretty straightforward? Well, here is an application question: did you know you can be a Christian and be ungodly?

Christian’s can still sin after salvation. Christian’s can go away from God after salvation. While Christian’s have power to not sin, we still do (the author of the post included). So are you not seeing prosperous times in your life? Take a look at your life to see what needs to be changed to live a godly life.

Psalm 1:5-6 – Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

 

Psalm 1 – Living a Godly Life (Part 1)

Psalm 1 contrasts ways that a person can live life. The options put forth are living for self and living for God. As Christians, living for God must be the goal. Therefore, if any passage of Scripture has something to say about living godly, it should be studied and read with the intent of finding the principles of godliness in the passage. Such is the case, as stated before, in Psalm 1.

Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

So what does this verse mean for today’s generation? The counsel of the ungodly would be having the wrong kind of friends; such as those who would lead you away from God and not closer to Him. This is definitely not to say to avoid non-believers altogether. This verse is saying not to take counsel from them when it comes to important areas in your life as it could and more likely than not would lead you away from God.

Psalm 1:2 – But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

What is your favorite thing to spend time on in life? How long do you spend each day doing that favorite activity in some form or fashion? Now how long do you spend with God in prayer, or in reading the Bible, or soulwinning? Is your delight in the law of the Lord, so much so that you would read the Bible day and night? The author will be honest; he does not spend every free moment in that manner either. The principle is evident however, that Christians need to be spending time in the word.

In closing for today’s post, where do you stand today? Do you stand with the counsel of the ungodly, that group that despises the Bible and diverts your attention from it? Or do you stand with God, as you read the Bible and serve God each day?

 

The conclusion of the study of Psalm 1 will be on Wednesday (10/25); be sure to check back in for it.

Can Christians Have Victory?

America has been leading itself as a nation down the path of taking everything that was morally wrong and promoting it as morally acceptable. To give an examples, beginning in 1974, different organizations stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder. Since then, groups of people who call themselves “homosexuals” have been demanding people to accept them for who they are. Yet, Christians are told they need to change; the author’s guess is that Christians do not fit the world’s narrative by denouncing homosexuality. The Bible does give clear guidelines about this issue; it is not up for debate (for reference, read Romans 1:26-32).

In the crazy world in which Christians live, can Christians have victory over the world? Can Christianity stand by the truth of the Bible without bending to the pressure of the world, that demands that Christians change?

1 John 5:4-5 – For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

When the world demands that Christians change, rest in the fact that God, who is the creator of all the universe, is on the Christian’s side. Never fear when the world gives you reason to fear; trust in God and life will work out. Take the life of Joseph for example. He went from being a prisoner, to second in command of Egypt. God was molding Joseph to be the person he needed to be, and Joseph didn’t bend to his temptation to change. When the time was right, Joseph was put into the exact place God wanted him to be. And God will do the same for the author, and for the readers, at His divine timing. Joseph had victory over the world, and Christians will as well.

Whatsoever We Ask

Have you ever asked for something from God, and not understood why your request was denied? Perhaps, a little bit of bitterness rose up in your hearts because of it? God will sometimes say no to requests because we do not need it, but in today’s post the author will discuss another reason for God saying no.

1 John 3:22 – And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

While this verse does not specifically state a reason for God saying no, it can be used to draw an important principle. Negate the bold keywords in the verse to show the opposite case (not receiving what we ask). It would read something like this:

And whatsoever we ask, we receive not of him, because we keep not his commandments, and do not do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

And thus we have a principle to base the hypothesis on: that God says no when Christians are not obeying Him. Critics would say a loving god would never set such a standard, but the God who rules all of the universe has the right to make the standard. So what is this commandment?

1 John 3:23 – And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

The commandment, very simply put, is be a Christian, and love one another. As was discussed in the last post, telling someone you hate them is not loving one another. Loving people who love you is easy, how about people you would even consider saying “I hate you” to? Recall a statement Jesus Christ made in Matthew 5.

Matthew 5:46 – For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

So are you loving one another? Are you keeping the commandments of God? If you love God and you love people, you will follow the commandments in the Bible. Are you? If you are, then you are in a good position. If not, you really need to consider taking a  close look at your own heart.

1 John 3:24 – And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

 

I Hate You – Dangerous Words

“I hate you!”

Have those words ever come out of your mouth? If not, have you thought them? You more likely than not repented of saying those words to a person and probably didn’t think too much else on the matter.

1 John 3:15 – Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

The author wonders if this verse popped into a person’s mind after saying: “I hate you!” This is a difficult pill to swallow, even for the author. Sometimes Christians put levels on sin; for example, adultery and murder as worse sins than telling a lie. The issue with this view is that God considers sin sin. If one unbeliever only told a lie in his entire lifetime and another unbeliever only killed one person in his entire lifetime, neither would go into Heaven.

So, when the final part of the verse reads “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him,” it is not stating that is you murder someone, you cannot go to Heaven. All people have the freedom to accept the free gift of God, to become a born-again believer.  It is stating that if you hates someone, you are as bad as an unsaved murderer. Not something one probably thinks about minutes after letting those dangerous words slip. Take some time to think before you say these dangerous words again.

 

 

Love Not The World

Because of the fall, Christians struggle between two differing views of how to live life. Before a person is saved, their life is dictated by how to please the flesh. After a person is saved, the struggle is between living for the flesh and living for God. Now then, if one is to live for God and not for the flesh, should one then not do those things which the world does? The world doesn’t live for God; the world only lives for the flesh. So, if an activity only pleases the flesh, the old nature of mankind, should the activity be done? What does the Bible say about a person who loves the world?

1 John 2:15 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Serving the flesh by partaking in activities that do not please God is not only sinful, but it harms a person’s testimony of Christ for the world. Why would the world want to hear the message of salvation from a Christian that acts like the world? The world won’t see a change, and will possibly even assume that they are saved, as how they are living is the same as how the Christian is living. Christians ought to not only have the love of the Father in them, but show it.

1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

The activities that Christians ought to stay away from are pointed out in this verse. A person may say that Contemporary Christian Music is not spoken against in the Bible, but the author would suggest that the principle found in the verse quoted above state clearly that CCM is wrong and should be avoided. If the world sings a rock song and Christians sing a song with similar music but different lyrics, should that be alright? Is rock music not of a worldly nature? Because it is of this world and has such a nature, it should be avoided no matter what the lyrics are that are sung over it! Why should Christians listen to the same genre of music that the world listens to?

1 John 2:17 – And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 

 

What the Bible Says About NFL Protests

No doubt you have heard of the NFL protests. By any chance, did you check the Bible to see what God said about the NFL protests?

Alright, yes, the author knows there is not a specific chapter and verse of the Bible saying: Thou shalt not protest the United States of America in any way shape or form. One may be wondering why the author is writing on a political issue, as opposed to a spiritual one. What the author would like to accomplish in this post is to connect the dots using Scripture, to show that protesting government, barring certain cases, is as much of a spiritual issue as homosexuality, drinking, lying, or stealing. The author would also like to show to any Christian that rebellion to any authority, be it parents, teachers, a boss,  a government, and ultimately God himself is sin and against the Bible. And the Bible does actually specifically say not to protest government, as follows.

Romans 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.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” Take the phrase “be subject,” what does that actually mean? The verb subject in the Oxford Dictionary has two meanings, the second of which somewhat fits this use of the word here. The definition states that to subject is to “bring (a person or country) under one’s control or jurisdiction,…” If people are told by God to be subject to some one, they are to place themselves under the control and jurisdiction of that government. There is no alternative but what leads to sin.

For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Whether or not you agree with a person in power, their authority was given by God. To disobey them, again barring certain cases, would be to disobey God. Let the author also say, that to protest against the government placed over you, is protesting against God. Therefore, the NFL players who protest the national anthem of this country, that God has placed all Americans in, protest the authority not only of the United States, but the authority of God. This has become a political issue.

The author would briefly like to touch on a phrase he has used twice in the post so far, “barring certain cases.” As human nature is flawed, and God gave mankind free will, there will be times when authority asks you to do something against the Bible. It is in that case, and that case only, that one does not have to obey the authority (Acts 5:29). While you should not obey commands contrary to Scripture, you should be respectful when explaining your reasons why.

Romans 13:2 – Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

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