Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Commitment

"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. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God."
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

I've been meditating on commitment for many days now. We seem to live in a culture that has abandoned the concept. When I was young, quitting was a shame — not any more. Husbands and wives quit. Parents quit. Children quit. Christians quit.

I've said before that I've been in church almost my whole life. I started out in the church nursery and I've been everything from a deacon's kid to a bus kid to the preacher's wife. Through the years, I have seen literally thousands kneel at an altar and make a commitment to the Lord. Sadly, without a scientific study, I would say that near 90% of those commitments are abandoned. The person who keeps a vow is the rare exception.

But why?

That question is the base of my meditation and I don't know that I have any answers yet.
What do you think? Why do folks not keep the commitments that they make to the Lord.
I know the basic answers like "the cares of this world," "decisions made in haste," "peer presure." But are those the root reasons?

Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something is on my heart

And I'm still trying to articulate it. I haven't posted in a few days because I really want to convey the thoughts I have.

In the meantime, think about this:

When you made that commitment to the Lord, did you mean it?

"I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end."
Psalm 119:112

Friday, August 15, 2008

As Mount Zion

"They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever."
Psalm 125:1-2

It is such a comfort to me that the LORD is round about me. Today, I want you to meditate on His care and His presence.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The answer

  • The question:

"How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved."
Psalm 13:1-4

  • The answer:

"But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me."
Psalm 13:5-6

Don't worry about how long. Just trust in His mercy. Rejoice in His salvation. Sing to Him because he has dealt bountifully with you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do you ever?

Do you ever have those moments when, no matter how grounded you are in your faith, you waver?

So I remind myself.

"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
Psalm 90:2

"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."
Hebrews 1:10-12

Friday, August 8, 2008

Never Alone

Words by Ludie D. Pickett

I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll.
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, which almost conquered my soul.
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, bidding me still to fight on.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

Refrain
No, never alone, no never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
He’ll claim me for His own;
No, never alone, no never alone.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

The world’s fierce winds are blowing, temptation sharp and keen.
I have a peace in knowing my Savior stands between—
He stands to shield me from danger when my friends are all gone.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

When in affliction’s valley I tread the road of care,
My Savior helps me carry the cross so heavy to bear;
Though all around me is darkness, earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise, never to leave me alone!

He died on Calvary’s mountain, for me they pierc├Ęd His side.
For me He opened that fountain, the crimson, cleansing tide.
For me He waiteth in glory, seated upon His throne.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Do you know Him?

Do we know God?

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
Philippians 3:10
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
1 Corinthians 2:14-16
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."
John 1:10
"And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."
Jeremiah 24:7

Do you know my Hero, my husband?

Where was he born?
How many sisters does he have?
How many brothers?
Hold old is he?
When he was in high school, what career did he want to pursue?
When did he get saved?
What is his favorite color?
What is his favorite pastime?
What is his favorite food?
What is his favorite drink?
What was his first job?

I, of course, can answer all these questions, why?

Because I have spent time with him, listening and talking to him.

Do you spend time with God, listening (Bible reading) and talking (praying)?

"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."
1 John 2:3
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
1 John 4:7


What can we know about God?

  • His knowledge of us
"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"
Galatians 4:9
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
2 Timothy 2:19

  • His care and love of and for us
"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Ephesians 3:19
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"
Romans 8:35

  • His control in our lives
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
2 Timothy 1:12

Monday, August 4, 2008

Holy, Holy, Holy

"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."
Isaiah 6:3

Holiness is probably the overarching attribute of God. He is Who He is because He is holy. And yet, it is probably the hardest attribute for our sinful human minds to comprehend. I've read many, many attempts at explaining the meaning of holiness and yet no one seems to be able to wrap up the meaning of Holiness in human language.

He is the antithesis to sin. Nothing in the human experience equals the complete absence of something. Light is the antitheses of darkness and yet, even in the light there are shadows. Life is the antithesis of death but life is subject to death in any given moment.

God's holiness banishes the very essence of sin. The two things cannot coincide.

And in the midst of this incomprehensible concept, God says

"Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 20:7
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
1 Peter 1:15-16

As much as is possible, we should strive to live apart from sin. That will keep us busy for some time to come.