“… Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all .”

“Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all!” (Eighth Century Irish Hymn).

The final words to one of the oldest recorded hymns ever written, are foundational…’whatever befall,still be my vision, O Ruler of all.’

The entire hymn, verse after costly verse build ‘stone upon stone’ a foundation in which, we, believers in Christ can build our ‘temples’ on : “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”(1 Cor. 6:19). And it is most important that we remember, to keep in our ‘vision’ the word of the Lord: “For you were bought at a price…” (1 Cor. 6:20).

For some, there is no time for ‘religious stuff’, and these words just bring strife. So focus is on the immediate, the urgent in  the day to day life.

For others there is too much busy-ness, even in   ‘serving the Lord’ to ‘rest’. What are the foundationsof our thoughts and actions? Do we desire to build relationship stone by stone, step by step?

Do we lose our focus in the whirlwind of life? Do we desire relationship with the Ruler of all and our Creator.

Did you know that the foundation of the Temple in Jerusalem was COSTLY?  “Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work,”(of building the Temple of the Lord), “three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work. And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house…” (1 Kings 5:16,17).

Great and costly and hewn stones were brought in to lay the foundation.

I speak in the present tense.  I speak to myself. The cost is great in laying the foundation.  And really? Who would use ‘costly and precious stones for a foundation that’s not even seen?

Foundations are seen by One, and One only. God sees. His vision is clear.

Believing that God cares about all the parts of me that no one else knows, and know one else sees,that’s foundational. And when everything I can see, everything on the outside, starts falling apart- (our temples, our physical bodies),  then the FOUNDATION is all that’s left!

When this world rates us and scores us at ‘zero’ , God sees our faith and rates us as heroes!

So, what are great and costly stones? What are ‘hewed stones’ in the building of the temple of the Lord? in our own bodies? The Chief Cornerstone. Everything rests on the Cornerstone.

We discover the importance of ‘foundations’ and ‘focus’ when trouble comes and great brokenness. It’s not all bad – in that we cry out and hunger for increased faith and focus -God uses it for good.

“Be Thou my vision, Lord of my heart. Not be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought by day and by night. Waking or sleeping Thy presence, my light.”

“Be Thou my wisdom. Thou my true word. I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord. Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son, Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.”

Costly stones are FAITH : “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1). It is costly to have faith. BUT, we must be reminded, “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” We can’t ‘see’ faith, but we can see the evidence of it in the testimony, in the story! AND, it is recorded, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him,(God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! (Hebrews 11:6, exclamation point, mine!)

No one can see the great costly stones in the foundation, but God can, and God does! He’s got us in full view, and we best keep Him in full view as well, and then, we can stand on the Stone, the Chief Cornerstone no matter WHAT is going on in our world and sing with courage and trust:

“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise. Thou mine inheritance now and always. Thou and Thou only, First in my heart. Thou King of Heaven my treasure Thou ART!”

“High King of heaven , my victories won. May I reach heaven’s joy, bright heaven’s SON. Heart of my own heart…

whatever befall… STILL BE MY VISION, Oh Ruler of all.” (Be Thou My Vision, 8th Century Irish Hymn).

The foundation? Faith – costly, sacrificial, precious faith – in the ‘High King of heaven’, my victories won. He wore a crown of thorns, so that one day…I can wear a shiny one. And that shiny crown I will receive, I will give it to Him and lay it at His feet!

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

  ‘A Shelter in the Time of Storm’.

A hymn written by Vernon J. Charlesworth sometime in the 1880’s, has power to change worry to calm. Oh the power of the hymn, if we only knew these words as they did back when:

A Shelter in the Time of storm: “The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide, A shelter in the time of storm; Secure whatever ill betide, A shelter in the time of storm.”

“O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A weary land, a weary land; O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land; A Shelter in the time of storm.”

“A shade by day, defense by night, A shelter in the time of storm; No fears alarm, no foes affright, A shelter in the time of storm.

“The raging storms may round us beat, A shelter in the time of storm; We’ll never leave our safe retreat, A shelter in the time of storm.”

“O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, A shelter in the time of storm; Be Thou our helper ever near, A shelter in the time of storm. O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A weary land, a weary land; O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land; A shelter in the time of storm!”

Thank you Vernon J. Charlesworth for your pen, that chose to write, way back when, so my heart and mind can think of this, and speak these words that bring about peace.

A hymn, so powerful to bring a calm. Rich in truth and and a healing balm. God’s word, a sword against our foe, can be our help when the storm rages so:  “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalms 32 verse seven. Do I make the choice to receive this in faith? Do I take hold of the truth, so that I might finish the race?

God gave us choice. What then? Do we stop and be still so we can hear Him? Oh, the struggle. Oh, the fight. Our very natures resist being still! We want to ‘get back’ we want to ‘be right!’

‘Pause and think quietly upon all of this.’ “Selah” is the remedy for quiet bliss: Psalm 32 verse seven is written, that I might open it up to seek God’s face in heaven.

‘Even though we may walk in the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil,’ because ‘in Him’ we reside.  He is a Shelter in the Time of storm, and  – in Him – we hide!

“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you ,again” and again,  “it is a safeguard for you.” (Philipians 3:1, emphasis, mine.)

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”  (Let us choose to cling to God’s word at this time), Philippians 4:4, is our key to remember that the Lord is watching, the Lord can hear, the Lord knows everything – and yes, He is near!

‘He knows our frame. He knows we are dust’ (1). He knows we need forgiveness. He knows all the mess. He is Sovereign, …

He is Omniscient, …

He is Omnipotent.

Turn to Him,  for salvation, One time is enough, but moment by moment, draw near to Him – for power and strength and a refuge in the storm. He is Love, He is Able, He is the LORD.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -… 

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things… and the God of peace will be with you.” Phillipians  Four, 8 and 9. God’s word, and hymns and Psalms are divine, full of supernatural strength for all time.

Today, do you choose to take refuge in Him? Moment by moment, call out His name. He hears, He guides, and He calls you to come, to take refuge under the shadow of His loving arms. “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28; God’s word, a refuge for us.

“The raging storms may round us beat, A shelter in the time of storm; We’ll never leave our safe retreat, A shelter in the time of storm.”

“O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, A shelter in the time of storm; Be Thou our helper ever near, A shelter in the time of storm. O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A weary land, a weary land; O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land; A shelter in the time of storm!”

May these words become well-worn. Thank you Vernon J. Charlesworth for ‘A shelter in the time of storm’. But most of all, thank you Jesus, for Your righteous right arm!

(1) Psalm 103:14.

  • * * * *

 

 

A song of my miseries? No, only discoveries “What a Friend we have in Jesus”

The Songs to Choir Master, the Psalms to the Chief Musician written and penned by the hand of David, the man. Breathed and expressed by God – who made him. When the Book is opened, when my heart fails, I almost think the song is my wail.

But then something happens when the words are read again, suddenly, I realize, This is Jesus, my Friend:

“Save me, O God!
    For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.

More in number than the hairs of my head
    are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
    those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal
    must I now restore?” Psalm 69 verses 1-Four.

Sorrows, deep sorrows rushed in like a flood. Jesus, He knows what its like when bitter griefs steal the heart.

Sometimes, I’m so concerned about ‘me’ that I fail to see that the whole entire mess and sin was nailed upon the Tree.

“Twas not the insulting  voice of scorn So deeply wrung his heart; The piercing nail, the pointed thorn, Caused not the saddest smart: 

But every struggling sigh betray’d a heavier grief within, how on his burden’d soul was laid the weight of human sin.

O thou who hast vouchsafed to bear, Our sins’ oppressive load, Grant us thy righteousness to wear, And lead us to our God.” (A poem  in response to the Psalm 69,  by Spurgeon in his devotions,  this morning, now mine).

So today, I choose to leave my devotions with a song that I can sing in my heart, or with voice speak and say:

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble everywhere? We should never be discouraged; Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a Friend so faithful? Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; Take it to the Lord in prayer.”

“Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge! Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do Thy friends despise, forsake Thee? Take it to the Lord in pryer.

In His arms He’ll take and shield Thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.”

“What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!”

 “What a Friend we Have in Jesus,” written  by Joseph Scriven in 1855, but today, these old words will take residence in my heart and give me peace and help my soul revive! (I sing it even with emphasis, mine.)  Will you also choose a hymn, or a new song instead, of worry and fret – let us choose ‘faith’ instead!

 

Peace . Perhaps we simple change seats …

There is no peace,” are the words of many today. So we look and we study, and we even get healthy, as we search for and yearn for, the remedy.

Perhaps the answer lies in the choice of our seat – Do we take the chair of the captain in charge of all things, or do we sit in the chair ‘as the child’ seeking wisdom from the King?

Do we see that we rest in the palm of His hand. Do we know that His ways are not the ways of man? (1) Have we forgotten, ‘as a child’,  and the songs that were sung:  ‘Jesus loves me, this I know…’ Do we crack open the Bible, or have we been educated to let that Book go?

‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your request known to God, … ‘

this is written to the children from our Father. And this is the fruit from this kind of labor: ” … and the peace that passes all understanding, …’ peace that won’t make sense to the rest, peace that comes from within the depth,  peace no matter the situation, peace and a heart of thankfulness – this kind of peace is a promise with the command,

and it ‘ …will guard your heart and mind in Christ …’  (2) so one can stand.

Who has great understanding and freedom to trust? Watch a little child. They’re under someone’s care, they skip and they’re free to have joy and be ‘me’. There was a time when Jesus was asked, “Who is the greatest in God’s Kingdom? And Jesus called a little child to stand, and He said, ‘I tell you truly, unless you become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom you seek…’ (3)

“This is so elementary,” might be our response. “Yes, as simple as ABC. But, only simple in thought, but certainly, not easy. To have peace we must, ‘let go and let God.’ So the very first step, elementary indeed, is to lift up our eyes to Him and Believe.

“Without faith it’s impossible to please the Lord…” (4) So perhaps the first question that must be asked, is, “Who do I choose to please in this day? Which seat do I take, once again? Do I seek to please me and all of my plans, or do I choose to move over and take God’s hand?

“But where will He lead me? How can I trust?” Day after day, moment by moment, the struggle continues in our hearts prone to lust: lust after control, lust after revenge, lust after things that destroy our, peace, ‘What then?!’

“This is what the LORD says – the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD: …(5) Do you see the letters written in all caps as this? This the YHWH, the I AM, but not because He’s angry, ‘No!’ It’s simply that ‘fear of Him’ brings peace and  great bliss.

He is the I AM that I AM, (6) the Beginning and the End,  (7) even closer than a brother, He sticks by you as a friend,  (8), He is able to accomplish all that concerns you and is seen, He is LORD, the I AM, the Self-Existent One – “we are human beings,  He is ‘Being!‘”(9)

So in order to have a peace that passes all understanding, simple but not easy, the solution is given. Which seat do we  choose to sit in today? To be as a child and trust the Father and His way? ‘There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God… God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved.” 

As a child, in a moments time, shall we take hold of our Father’s hand, and let Him lead us on, singing a childhood song, “I’ve got peace like a river, …and trust that, “God will help us when morning dawns.”(11)

Yes, today I choose to ‘fear God’ and sing, and acknowledge He loves me, and continually make Him my King. If you join me today, please respond and say, “I am His child, and I am in His care, today I turn each care I have into a prayer. Trusting He is, and He hears my requests, trusting He loves and His plans are the best. Oh, God, forgive me as I miss the mark each day. Lead me and guide me, I’m Yours Lord, this day.”

  • * * * * *

(1) Isaiah 55: 8,9. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

(2) Philippians 4: 6,7.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

(3) Matthew 18:1-3, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.…”

(4) Hebrews 11:6. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”

(5) Jeremiah 33:2. “This is what the LORD says – the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”

(6) Exodus 3:14.

(7) Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.”

(8)  Proverbs 18:24, “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

(9)  by Jack Wellman, October 17, 2013, the Christian Crier.

(10) Psalm 46:3-5. “Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. The holy dwelling places of the most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.”

(11) Psalms 46:5.

The world: “Consider strife.” The Word: “Consider Christ!”

Jesus loves me this I know…” we sing as children sure and fine, yet after time and trial and education,  do we choose to forget our true foundation?

We cry out, “Help Lord!” And then there seems to be no reply.

We hear words from press at our fingertips. We hear media’s clamor and the popular opinion.

But God – He waits, and watches. His love is patient and kind. His love is not like yours or mine.

“Consider … Jesus Christ.” (1) Says His word to hearts hurting.

What are we considering in the course of our day? What you eat, what you wear, what so – and –  so has to say.

“Consider …Jesus Christ.” Thus saith the Lord. This is His way.

He was appointed by God the Father from heaven above. Whether we believe it’s true, doesn’t affect His love. (2) He is the Creator, the builder of the house, (3) He’s the beginning and the End, (4)  He is silent when accused. (5) He is faithful and true.

“Consider …Jesus Christ.

This is God’s response when we cry out to Him. When we cry out for deliverance, for rest, for quietness.

He’s given us choice. Do we listen, do we turn away from the noise? Let’s not wait for the ground to be shaking. Or when darkness is thick, we can’t see our own way. (6)

“Help Lord!”

He hears our cry. He doesn’t need to ask the question, ” Why? Or What? He’s been watching with His eye. (7) He knows if we caused our own pain. He knows if we’ve been wronged again. He knows the tears that fall from our face. He knows, and He covers us.

He laid down His life in our place.

“He is a very present help in time of trouble.”(8) He reveals, He delivers, He mediates, He heals.

His name is Jesus and died on a cross on the hill. So familiar, yet so unknown. So forgotten until the day we groan.

Consider Christ Jesus. He is unlike any other. He is mighty in action and in His word. He is the Son of God. He comes to bring peace, He also comes to bring a sword-

A surgical scalpel to cut away growth of critical spirits, and pride and the rest. He brings division simply in His name. To those who believe He pours out peace and compassion.

“…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”(9) These were His words to the ones who sought damage. To the accusers who cared of rules above love. Who seek after themselves and the reputations they manage.

Consider Jesus: Hardly noticing when others do Him wrong. Never keeping a record of all the damages done. (10) There is none like Jesus, no not one. He is worthy of every love song.

Bowing in our hearts when we see Him as He is.  He reaches His hand down to take mine, to take yours,  and He says with His voice written in words on the page,  ” Don’t be afraid, only believe.”  (11) “I am yours, and you… you belong to Me.”

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so …”
(1) Hebrews 3:1. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.”

(2) Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

(3) Hebrews 3:3,4. “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. “

(4) Revelation 22:13. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

(5) Isaiah 53:7. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

(6) Revelation 19:11.  “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.”

(7)  Proverbs 15: . “The eyes of the Lord are on every place keeping watch on the evil and the good.” 

(8) Psalm 46:1. “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.’

(9) John 8:7.

(10) 1 Cor. 13:4-7,  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

(11)Mark 5:36, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.” (Holeman Christian Standard Bible).

 

My prayer is already written

Psalm 51. To the Chief Musician…

“Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
    it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
    teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
    Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
    and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
    then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
    that my mouth may praise you.

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
    You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
    with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
    Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.”

This is my prayer to my Chief Musician as well.

First mention of war? A fight for family …

 The Book of Genesis, the Book of beginnings. First mention of many things.

Today, with so much fighting going on.With great trouble today, lies and hate and violence, what does the Bible have to say about war? The first mention of war in the Bible we find, is for family. Yes, family is worth fighting for.

But this wasn’t about money or possessions or even land – this was over Family. So Abram arms himself and gets everyone involved and most importantly, God was with him.

So what do we do? We gather our weapons:

2 Corinthians 10 3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
casting down
arguments and every high thing
that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…”

We believe God and we pray.

In  Genesis 14:14,  we are in the middle of a story,  “Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive…”

So, Abram heard that his brother was taken captive. Abram was just a man, but who was he? He was a man who ‘believed God’ and ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness’.  (Genesis 15:6). The greatest work that Abraham did was to ‘believe God!’

Today, are we like Abram? You and me? Are we those who ‘believe God’? Do we pray to Him?  When we call on Him as, ‘our Father in heaven’,  and believe in the provision of His Son, we are His children. Abram feared God, not man.

Do you know someone who has been taken captive?

“Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his house, and went in pursuit…” Gen. 14:14.

Basically Abram gathered all of those in his family and they went to war against the 4 kings( little ‘k’ kings,) that had taken his nephew Lot captive.
Abram went to war, because his nephew had been taken captive and he went out against the enemy with his family to claim back that which belonged to him.
Abram believed God, and God was with him.

Genesis 14:15,”He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as … So he brought back his brother Lot and his goods…

This is the first mention of ‘war’ in the Bible? This wasn’t about money or possessions or even land – this was over Family. So Abram arms himself and gets everyone involved and most importantly, God was with him.

So what do we do? We gather our weapons:

2 Corinthians 10 3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
casting down
arguments and every high thing
that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…”

We believe God and we pray.

Abram and his servants, because God was with them, smote the enemy, …but look who’s coming,
Gen 14:17, “And the king of Sodom went out to meet him”

Sodom? Doesn’t that name ring a bell? Sodom and Gomorah, the destroyed cities by fire and brimstone? Yes, the king of Sodom went out to meet him. Of course – here comes the enemy – this is a picture of Satan, right here in this story.

But, the very next verse seems to come out of nowhere-
Gen. 14:18, “Then Melchizedek King of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High…”

The mysterious King of Salem.  Salem means Peace.

The Prince of Peace comes and  brings out bread and wine. The King of Salem did not fight or defend, he brought bread and wine.
The symbols of the cross. And he showed up the same time that the king of Sodom did.

There is a choice to be made. Abram had words for the king of Sodom after he had payed tithes to the King of Salem:
Gen. 14:22-23, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth…”
‘Prayer changes things’.
There is power over the temptations of Sodom, the attacks of the enemy, the overwhelming desire to sin. Where is the power?
Abram made a decision. He paid tithes to the King of Salem, (the Prince of Peace) and he then spoke to the  king of Sodom: “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth…”

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Yours is the kingdom, and and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13.

Calculations …

Abraham Lincoln told stories that have survived generations. Here is one that contains calculations: If a tail of a dog is counted as a leg, tell me now, how many legs have the dog?’  The answer would then be proclaimed, ‘Five.’ Yet, the response by the tall man with a smile was given , “No, Four – because calling the tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg.”

What do you say?

Calculations are made by man, but does it matter? People develop conclusions from outside appearances, but God …He’s got the whole picture, He knows the whole plan. (1) God knows the beginning from the end. (2)God knows everything within.(3)

Man can devise his own math problem, proclaiming: “Every man’s way is right, tolerance of all things is true. And those that hold to standards of old, must be moved out of the way, for it’s time for ‘equations-anew’.

So we have math problems being made, all new indeed, but actually the same as it’s been from the beginning of history. It is the battle with , “I, myself, and me.”

Forgetting, … (for some),  that there is  – a “Father,  a Spirit, and  a Son.” Yet, God’s word makes it quite clear that “there is none, righteous. No, not one.” (4)

We live in a world of circus-type atmosphere, but there are some, whose vision remains clear. Just as good -‘ol Abe and his story from long gone, we have a tried and true solution.  God, the Father who sent His Son to take our failures and nail them to the tree, His shed blood clears the  debt account in full, for all those who believe.

When the ancients were shouting, “The world is flat!” some monks were reading of the ‘circle of the earth’(5) from the ‘ol Book as they sat. They spoke of an earth that was round – they were scorned and ridiculed and told to not speak a sound!

So calculations are made in the whims of the age. Words of man spoken and written out on the page. People adding 1+1= Me. They have ‘I’, and ‘myself’, and  well, I’ve heard it said, some follow the trinity of stupidity! Don’t be offended. Math is a perfect science. If at first you don’t succeed … Seek, ask and knock, and you will soon see.

The Bible,  penned by many authors through a long period of time, inspired and breathed upon by the breath of God – Holy and Divine. By faith many believe He is able to do all things,

even by the Word of His mouth. He’s Creator of all we see – North, East, West and South.

Let us calculate which is best for others? 1 + 1+ 1 = 3, requiring faith to grasp the great mystery. God the Father, who sent His Son, to shed His blood for everyone, and dying, yet rising, leaving the Holy Spirit to seal, each and every heart that believes He is and He will give us life forever, for all eternity still!

“You don’t understand. We’re too smart for all this. You take your faith in God, and we will trust our Science.” These are the words that we often hear today, but the man of God goes home  and prays. He opens ‘ol pages and reads words in the Holy  Bible – for wisdom and understanding and knowledge for survival!

Yesterday, today, forever the same. No matter what man says, God is God, He is God the same!

If the tail were a leg? How many legs have a dog? King Solomon wrote, “the conclusion of the whole matter, …

is “Fear God!”

“Fear God and keep his commandments: this is the whole duty of man.” For God will bring every work into judgement, every secret thing, good or bad. God will expose every secret thing, this is God’s word in Ecclesiastes 12:14.

Do the math. It’s best to trust God and to obey Him – this in turn produces …

happy children!

 

 

 

(1) Jermiah 29:11, ” For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace  and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Romans 3:10,11 “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; no one who seeks God.…”

(2) Revelation 22:13, ” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and Last.

(3) 1 Samuel 16:7, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

(4) Romans 3:10, 11, “as it is written, ‘ There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God…”

(5)  Isaiah 40:22 “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in;”

(6) Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.

Appearances … we often hide the inside.

We wake. We put on a face. We present ourselves all together and lovely … God alone knows the heart of man. Oh, how sad, and sick and full of sin … is the human heart that lies within. (1) So, we grow  in circumstance and receive education, but the viper’s poison still remains, even when it imparts no sting. Our hearts are dark within.

The sin of one man destroyed us all. (2) Adam, in the beginning, in the fall. But grace is as a great blot of ink, because the thought of blood is hard to think … yes, grace blots out and covers in full. The blood of the Lamb, shed to cleanse mankind all –  red, brown, yellow, black, and white – The name of Jesus makes ‘crimson’, white as snow.(3)

It all sounds like ‘religious stuff’ but in fact it’s knowledge that leads to hope. It’s words written on a page of history forever, for all eternity changed.
“We were lost, but we are found,” reads a song of hope in Spurgeon’s poem,

“Dead, but now alive are we;” the poem reads in simplicity.

“Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God:” (3)

“As by the offence of one, judgement came to all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one came the free gift upon all men unto justification.” (Romans 5:18, almost too good to believe!)

“Dead, but now alive are we;” We were sore in bondage bound, But our Jesus sets us free.”

“Strangers, and he takes us in, Naked, he becomes our dress. Sick, and he from stain of sin, Cleanses with his righteousness.”  These are words of a Spurgeon poem, that lead the way to peace and home.

Where is home? Where is home? Sometimes it’s hard to understand and know. God help us to shed the dark heart within, that we might have a new countenance, outside … and first, in.

Give me back a smile upon my face in knowing that You love me and have given me grace. O God, restore me again and give me inner joy. Lift up Your countenance on me Lord, let it be evident on my face.

Then I will say aloud the words on the page, as if they are my own, from my own heart the same:

“Therefore will I sing his praise, Who his lost ones hath restored, Hearts and voices both shall raise 

Hallelujahs to the Lord.” 

May my countenance be changed moment by moment, breath by breath, as I seek the Lord and His righteousness. There is no righteousness in me, except in believing that He IS HE! Today, today let my prayer be, and old Spurgeon poem written just for me:

“Lord, from anger purge my heart, Bid all enmity depart; New-created from above, Let my very life be love. 

Quench in me each evil fire, Envious thought or false desire. Flame from heaven upon me fall! Love of God be all in all!” (5)

 

(1) Jeremiah 17:9-10, (NLT) The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
    and desperately wicked.
    Who really knows how bad it is?
10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
    and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
    according to what their actions deserve.”

 Mark 7:21, For from within the hearts of men come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness …”

(2) Romans 5:15, “But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.”

(3)  Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

(4) Romans 5:18, “ Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

(5) Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible pg. 8,10.

Guess where God meets us? From above the mercy seat…

Almost a year ago today, my thoughts were the same as this day. Basically, coming to the conclusion that God doesn’t see the same way people see. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. And a broken heart that turns and seeks the Lord’s ways, discovers with astonishment that God meets us at the seat of mercy, and blots out our sin so we can begin again. How glorious is God!

See God's Hand

Man may not be merciful at times, but God is. In fact, one of the most popular of all the psalms is Ps. 23 and it reminds us over and over again, as we meditate and think on God’s word as we are told to do, that ‘surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life’; that is, if we’ve decided to make the Lord our Shepherd!

God is merciful! It is in His being! He even gave a ‘plan’ to Tabernacle to Moses and the whole pattern was written up, but the very first place that God brought up was the ark of the covenant and He told Moses Himself that He would meet us at the mercy seat.

Have you ever looked at God’s plans? The whole pattern and plan is laid out for us in Exodus 25-28, of which I want to record…

View original post 1,269 more words