Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

Getting Back To Basics

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.  —  Deuteronomy 8:3 (KJV)

 

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  —  Luke 9:23 (KJV)

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  —  Romans 12:1 (KJV)

 

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar   And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.  —  Isaiah 6:1-8 KJV)

 

These are a few of the verses or passages  I have read recently that convince me that I need to get back to basics.

Have you ever found yourself doing so much for The Lord that your relationship with Him suffers?  Like, your time is so full of godly activities that you miss God in all the hustle and bustle?

That is where I am finding myself now.  I should have seen the warnings, like picking up new activities without really being sure that the activities are really God ordained, or did I just decide to do them because I thought God would be impressed with my faithfulness.

I need to stop listening to the flesh, stop doing things for God that He may be impressed with my faithfulness, and begin again to make myself available to God, so that He can lead me in what He wants me doing.

Am I the only one?  Do others feel this as well?

July 14, 2016 Posted by | Follow Jesus, Godliness, Repentance | , , | 1 Comment

A Christian Response To Recent Events

Recent events, including the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the definition of marriage, have really gotten strong responses from Christians, including myself.  Whenever these things happen, if you are like me, you start looking immediately for the best response.  I find that most often I want to do something,, voice a protest, vent my opinions and anger on social media, maybe join in a march or something.

But recently, I have been thinking, have any of these recent events taken God by surprise?  No, Jesus said that in the last days it would be like the time of GodsProvisionNoah, (see Matthew 24:37 or Luke 17:26) and if you look at God’s description of the world in Noah’s day from Genesis 6:5

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Things are getting bad, but I don’t think they are that bad yet.  But the point is, God knew things would get bad in the last day.  He even told us how things would be, so if we really believe that the Bible is truly the word of God, then the Supreme Court decision, or any other recent event, shouldn’t really be surprising to us either.

In reading Psalm 37, I got a lot of Godly insight into how I need to be reacting to events from a faith perspective.

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb. (vv. 1,2)

Okay, so I shouldn’t fret, but what should my reaction be?

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday. (vv. 3-6)

I see three key words or phrases.  “Trust in the Lord”, “Delight in the Lord”, and “Commit your way to the Lord”.  So, with the world getting worse by the day, we need to be drawing ever closer to the Lord, which we should have been doing all along, but now even more so.

I believe that one thing God is doing in these last days is providing an opportunity for His true followers to show themselves for what they are, the true followers of our Lord Jesus.  The true sheep of Jesus’ pasture will follow Him, while the goats will find themselves drawn more and more to the world and its darkness.

Recently, I have found Psalm 37 to be a true treasure.  If you ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes to what He is saying, perhaps you will as well.

Will you join me in reading through and meditating on Psalm 37 every day for a week?  And then perhaps extending your reading of the Psalm even further?

 

 

July 22, 2015 Posted by | Faith, God's Word, Godliness, Same Sex Marriage | , , , | 1 Comment

A New Journey – First Steps

first-stepMy last day of work was Thursday, August 14.

From the time I landed this job, almost exactly four years earlier, I knew that God’s hand was in it.  My wife and I, along with our Church, had been praying for this job for over a year, and when it was offered, the circumstances were such that it was obviously a gift from God.  As it was a gift from my Lord, I remembered to thank Him for it often.

Continue reading

August 19, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, God's Grace, Godliness | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A New Journey

ANewJourney

(See journal index at the end of this introductory post)

A little over five years ago I was laid off during the peak of the recession.  I was out of work for sixteen months, finally landing a job in August 2010.

Continue reading

August 19, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, Godliness | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Sacrament Of Life

“The Sacrament Of Life” is the title of the last chapter of A.W. Tozer’s book, “The Pursuit Of God” For anyone who has not read this book, I highly recommend it. It has provided so many blessings to me.prayinghands_6

But none greater than the last chapter. In it, Mr. Tozer describes the difficulty that many Christians have with the two areas of their lives, the sacred and the secular. As Christians we want to live in the sacred acts of prayer, fellowship, shared worship, etc. but we find ourselves living in a secular world which forces us to deal with such tasks of making money, maintaining our home and transportation, etc. Thus we are forced to switch back and forth between our inner spiritual life and our external secular one.

But Mr’ Tozer points out very eloquently how this view of two separate “lives” is nothing more than a misconception on the part of believers.

At the heart of Mr. Tozer’s argument are some of Paul’s exhortations to believers that point out how the Lord intends for us to approach our lives.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  —  1 Corintians 10:31

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  —  Collossians 3:17

Seeing these verses, and others like them, it is clear that God never intended for us to separate our lives into secular and sacred. Rather, we are to do all to the glory of God. Every act then, whatever it may be, is to be done as an act of worship to the Lord.

Another verse that should drive the point home is where Paul exhorts bond servants and their relationship to their masters. In our day we could think of this as how an employee should relate to his employer:

Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.  —  Ephesians 6:5-6

When we go through our daily routine at work, we should give our employers the same level of service as if we were working directly for the Lord.  And, by extension, when we are engaged in any of our earthly tasks, we should look to perform them as unto the Lord, glorifying Him in all that we do.

January 23, 2014 Posted by | Faith, Godliness, Uncategorized, Worship | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Are We Married To Jesus But Having An Affair With Satan?

First off, I want to acknowledge the source of my title phrase, it comes from the “Be Better Not Bitter” Blog, and this excellent post.  My thanks to Shenine and her excellent work! When I first read Shenine’s phrase about being married to Jesus I knew I had to expand a little on it, so, here goes.

Many Christians would like to believe that they can have their salvation with the Lord, and still play around with their favorite sins now and then.  They want to profess a relationship with Jesus on the one hand, but still have a little fling from time to time, to keep things interesting.  In other words, they want to be married to their Lord, but still maintain an adulterous relationship with Satan. Here is what the Bible says about that idea:

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  —  Joshua 24:10 (KJV)

The Bible does not leave us free to serve the Lord part-time and then turn around and serve Satan part-time.  The Bible calls on us to choose, and choose today, who will we serve?  This choice is not to be taken lightly, much is at stake here so it is up to us to choose wisely.  The Bible says:

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lordthy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.  —  Deuteronomy 30:15-20

What will we follow?  Will we follow life and good?  Or will we follow death and evil?  Jesus, or Satan?  We can’t follow both.

The prophet Elijah asks the same question:

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  —  i Kings 18:21 (NKJV)

We have a choice to make: Who is our God?  Is it Jesus?  Is it Satan?  Is it our flesh?  The world and its pleasures?  But Jesus says:

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  —  Luke 9:23 (KJV)

Notice, Jesus does not say that we are to indulge our flesh when we wish or take a little time away to keep company with the world?  No, he said that we are to deny ourselves.

And finally, it is not enough that we call Jesus our Savior and then don’t do the things that He says.  Jesus put it this way:

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.  —  Matthew 7:21 (KJV)

Remember, we are to:

Enter (ye) in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  —  Matthew 7:13,14 (KJV)

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Godliness, Knowing Jesus, Prayer | , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray

I have little doubt that most already recognize Isaiah 53:6, which, in the King James reads:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

At once, this verse is both a commentary on the desperation of Man’s condition before God and a prophesy about the sacrifice that was to be made by the Messiah in becoming the propitiation for our sins.

During worship and prayer this morning during church I was meditating on the love that the Lord has for His children.  I don’t know about you, but I have wandered away from the Lord several times in  my life.  Whether by alcohol and drugs, of by engaging in immoral sexual practices, or by putting other things first in my life which are, if we are being honest, forms of idolatry, I have strayed far from the Lord’s chosen path for me on a number of occasions.  On any of those occasions the Lord would have been more than justified to just throw up His hands and say, “Fine! If you like being apart from Me so well the just GO!  I am finished with you!”

But He never did, and He never would.  But today in particular, I was feeling enveloped by a love so strong that even my worst sin would never even dent His steadfast love for me.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.  —  Luke 15:4-7

Today, I saw this parable in a different light.  I believe that it not only refers to the person who strays in a bit way by falling into drug use or infidelity to one’s spouse or anything that may draw us away from our Savior’s love and guidance for months or even years.  It also refers to the one, I believe, who falls into temptation and sin even for an hour, even for a minute.  At the moment when we realize that we are engaging in sin, and that we are breaking our Savior’s heart, when we turn again to follow Him who bought us with His own blood, there is rejoicing in heaven that a wayward son or daughter, a wandering sheep, has turned away from the darkness of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and has chosen rather to gaze into the eternally loving face of their Savior.

Lord, reveal Your steadfast love that I may choose the world less and less, and You more and more.  Amen!

July 29, 2012 Posted by | Faith, God's Grace, Godliness, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

I Decided To Drown…Don’t Save Me

This is a really excellent perspective on our immersion in The Lord.

Be Better Not Bitter

ocean animated

photo credit: photobucket.com

Lord, if you are the ocean then I’m drowning! Sinking to the bottom of your love. I will breathe in you. I don’t want to breathe the air of the enemy. For it pollutes my lungs. I rather swallow the living water that flows from you.

I put my trust in you and only you Lord. This world is wicked and I know it is not where I want to reside. People with no integrity! Money hoarders that robs the poor. Lives been taking at a movie theater like they were animals with diseases. Wealthy people worrying about their status and how to grow their bank accounts.

Families who act like enemies. Christians acting like the world. Babies being raped like they are grown women. This world is a sick place, and I’m glad I am not in it. But I lay inside the bottom of the…

View original post 103 more words

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Godliness, Revival, Spiritual Commentary | , , , , | 3 Comments

What Would Happen If I Gave My Everything?

“The Motions” by Matthew West is a very thought-provoking song.  West released this song on his album “Something To Say” which was the first album published after he underwent “voice threatening surgery” of his vocal chords in 2007.  I have not been able to verify this anywhere, but I like to believe that he wrote “The Motions” during his  2-month period of silence and vocal rest following his surgery, while still unsure if he would be able to sing again.

Whether that is absolutely true or not, the story certainly gives me pause.  West’s surgical experience, which took place very shortly after the problem, polyps on the larynx that were causing hemorrhaging, was made, reminding me that a life changing event could come at any time.  So, I wonder, if such an event took place in my life, would I be comfortable knowing that, while I had the chance, I gave my everything to this Christian life, or would I spend the rest of my life asking, “What if I had given everything instead of just going through the motions?”.

July 24, 2012 Posted by | Discipleship, Faith, Godliness, Sanctification | , , , | 5 Comments

Psalm 37, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Or Else!

After re-reading one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 37, I decided to look a little deeper at the meaning of the word “fret”, and was quite surprised by what I found.  This word appears three times in the first eight verses of the psalm:

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

“Fret” comes from the Hebrew word “Charah” which is translated “kindled” 44 time, “wroth” 13 times, “hot” 10 times, “angry” 9 times, “displease” 4 times, and “fret” 4 times  (from Blue Letter Bible Lexicon).  I notice that fret is a less used translation, and that all the translations are highly charged words.

We could easily translate verse 1 as Be not wroth, be not angry, or even,  be not kindled against evil doers.  But what does that mean, “be not kindled”?

For a clue, I looked up the word fret in Webster’s and found not just the common definition of “worry” but a lot more.  In addition to worry, fret also means to “eat or gnaw into”, also, corrode, fray, rub, or chafe.

So now we begin to see, fret or worry is not just something that we do, but when we do it, it does something back to us.  As a result of worry, our being is eaten or gnawed, or corroded away.

God tells us not to worry about evil doers, not only because we can’t do anything about them anyway, we will not prevent others from their evil ways, but more importantly, as we allow ourselves to be caught up in worry, we are doing actual damage to ourselves.

As we trust in The Lord and lean on Him, His promise is that we will dwell in the land, we will be fed, He will give us the desires of our heart, and many more promises throughout the psalm.  If you are not familiar with Psalm 37, I urge you to read it through.  It is a truly beautiful psalm.

July 14, 2012 Posted by | Faith, God's Grace, Godliness | , , , | 16 Comments