Friday, February 28, 2014

Isaiah 55

My morning's meditation came from Isaiah 55.

Who am I to try and change the wisdom of God in order to taylor it to fit my will? I've heard many insinuate that the word of God means different things to everyone, as though there is a kind of moral relativity that is understandable and right within the body of Christ. But God's word does not change. And His wisdom is far above our own. So when He has spoken, no man can change what He has said to taylor it to his own liking, in order to condone or condemn what He has not. It is what it is. He has said what He has said. And He still desires that we seek to be holy as HE is holy. In the Name of Jesus we can be.

Isaiah 55:6-9 

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Create In Me a Pure Heart

Psalm 51:10-12 "Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

I can relate to the psalmist when he prayed this prayer. There are times when I know I don't even have the will to desire what I know I should. I just want what I want and I know it isn't right. But this is when I get down low and pray fervently.

I ask Him to create in me a clean heart and renew a RIGHT spirit within me because I know that often I don't desire what is right. I ask that He not remove His spirit from me nor cast me away from His presence, knowing that I fully deserve these things to happen. I also ask Him to restore in me a new joy for my salvation and I ask that He would give me a willing spirit to seek and do His will.

You see, I ask for these things because I know that within myself I don't even desire them without His intervention, and I really do not want to have my will be done, no matter how tempted I am, because my way is foolish and flawed and devoid of wisdom. I know that His way is best, even when I feel like choosing MY way.

If you are struggling today to do what is right, consider this prayer of the psalmist, and let it be your own.

His Word and Will Do Not Change

Psalm 119:5 "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."

2 Peter 1:19 "We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts."

How easy it is to be deceived, believing what we want rather than what is. But God's word is eternal, and His will does not change. What He proclaimed to be wrong long ago is still wrong today. There is no rewriting of scripture just to suit human whim and will.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Forgive You

"I forgive you"...

Have you ever found yourself inexplicably able to speak these words with honesty, more easily than you would have ever imagined you would be capable of doing? It's that moment when God loves the person who has offended or wronged you, through you. And every ounce of your being believes it and means it.

But what of the occasional moments that take you by surprise with a sudden and unexpected burst of anger or revulsion for the one you've forgiven? Where does that come from and why? When once forgiveness is offered, why are there times when emotions and remembrances drag us back to the place of bondage to bitterness?

These are questions for which I've yet to find least answers that satisfy. The best I've known so far is that forgiveness is not just a one time deal, but a continual offering of love and grace. And when I let my guard down and dabble in remembering a record of wrongs, my heart is easily drawn to the wounds and the hurt caused by others. But love keeps no record of wrongs. And though I am tempted from time to time to dwell on things past, and reopen wounds healed and forgiven, I can still be an overcomer of this temptation when I call to mind that Jesus also paid for every sin ever committed against me. And in dwelling on His grace and love, it once again becomes easier to offer the same grace and love to others.

Matthew 6:12 "and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us."

Whoever Hates

Proverbs 26:24-26 "Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart. When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly."

These verses suggest that in the assembly of God's elect, though hateful people disguise themselves with lies and gracious speech, their wickedness will be exposed. How?

"there are seven abominations in his heart".

What are the seven abominations that would expose the wickedness of hateful people?

Proverbs 6:16 says, "There are six things that The Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him;

1).haughty eyes
(surmising, hostile, unkind, jealous, envious, mean, nasty, condemning or indifferent)
2).a lying tongue
(or even one that merely suggests or insinuates false things about others)
3).hands that shed innocent blood
(Jesus said if you hate your brother you've committed murder in your heart already)
4).a heart that devises wicked plans
(planning anything outside of God's will)
5).feet that make haste to run to evil
(they long for and look forward to the next opportunity to indulge in wrong doing of any kind)
6).a false witness who breathes out lies
(also includes gossip, malicious talk, surmising, one who leaves out the truth)
7).one who sows discord among brothers
(inspiring disharmony, distrust, anger, defensiveness, hostility, uneasiness or sorrow)

These markers are fairly straight forward. Consider, Are you like this? Do you hang around anyone like this?

Jesus was willing to walk with many sinners. But He never spent time validating or bolstering the confidence of unrepentant people who continually run back to their sinful ways and then try to justify or down play it.

These people desire to indulge in wickedness. Their hearts beat faster at the thought of it, and their ears tingle with wicked glee when they hear tidbits of gossip. They delight to know it and seek it out. And they delight to spread it around. They don't care who gets hurt. They actually desire to hurt the reputations of others with their lies and half truths.

But they know that such behavior is unacceptable for God's people so they use language that would deceive others in order to blend in with them. They often manipulate those in the church and play upon their sympathy, but though their speech may be gracious, but do not believe them. Consider their reputations and their habits, the "fun" they seek out, including the kind of conversation they engage in both publicly or privately. And consider what they do to others. Do they build them up, or tear others down? Are they forgiving or do they harbor bitterness and condemnation for those whom they feel have hurt them?

It is good to consider the Psalmists words in Psalm 1:1

"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers".