Meditations In The Psalms

Several months ago, Cate and a friend of hers began a journey through the book of Psalms.  Everyday they would read a psalm and then they wrote down what it was that the Holy Spirit impressed upon them during that mornings reading.  Both of them kept a journal, but they also shared their thoughts with each other.

During this time there were many occasions where my wife would share with me or in our Sunday School class the things that the Lord was teaching her through the book of Psalms.  A common comment that she has made was how doing her devotions this way has made her time with the Lord come alive and so special.

I have enjoyed observing Cate in the mornings as she sits in bed praying, reading, meditating, and writing.  I have also enjoyed listening to her tell me from time to time the things that the Lord has taught her or how what she read on a specific morning was exactly what she needed.

Well, three weeks ago, I opened up my Bible to the book of Psalms and begun the same routine. However, it has been anything but routine!  Many of the psalms are already very familiar ones, but I have asked the Lord to help me not to read them with a presumed expectation of what I will “get out of it” that morning.  I have found myself reading each psalm twice and thoroughly enjoying it.  These songs of praise and prayer are truly a treasure chest of gems found in God’s Word.

In the weeks to come, from time to time, I will share some of my thoughts from the Book of Psalms.  If my wife will allow, I may even include her thoughts on occasion.  Please understand that these thoughts will not be thoroughly and theologically developed.  Rather, they will be first impressions as we seek to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts.

Selah….

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I Remember The Day

I remember the day as if it were yesterday.  Twenty-five years ago in a small town located in Central Illinois at Elmwood Baptist Church, an Evangelist by the name of Jim Broom preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I, a 13 years old boy, went forward and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to be MY personal Saviour!!  Hallelujah, what a Saviour!!  He said, “YES!!”  With His own blood He washed away my sins and placed upon me, His own righteousness.

Tomorrow, with joy & thankfulness, I will remember that day.  My life was forever changed at that moment.  No, I have not been the perfect Christian in the last  2 ½ decades.  I have played the part of the prodigal son, I have wandered from the fold, I have left my first love, I have ran from God.  But when I knelt to pray, when I repented, when I confessed my waywardness, God, the gracious Heavenly Father, with opened arms welcomed me back into the fold.  He never gave up on me!! He’s so good to me!!

Beyond all that I could ever have asked or hoped for, God has blessed me.  Almost 13 years ago, he gave me a wonderful & godly completer, my wife, Cate.  Just over 10 years ago, he blessed us with our daughter, and He has given us two more sons since then.  I served as the pastor of a church in Nebraska, and I now serve Him in North Carolina.  My children have all been saved and baptized!!  Surely, my cup runneth over!!

Lord willing, if Jesus tarries, I look forward to celebrating my 50th “birthday” in another twenty-five years!

I REMEMBER THE DAY
WHEN THE LORD SAVED ME
ALL OF HEAVEN CAME DOWN
I WAS HAPPY AND FREE
GLORY FILLED MY SOUL
FOR I KNEW THE LORD HAD MADE ME WHOLE
I SHALL NEVER FORGET THE DAY WHEN THE LORD SAVED ME.


Elmwood Baptist Church


              

As If I Had Never Sinned

In the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel, we read these words spoken by Jesus Christ, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  In this statement, Jesus was making it plain and clear that there was no way of entrance into the Father’s house except through Him.  Man says that there are many ways to God. The Bible tells us that there is only one way to God.  If we seek to enter heaven, then we must come on God’s terms, not on terms that we contrive in our deceitful hearts.

Ever since “The forbidden fruit”, man has sought his own way instead of God’s way.  They way of man is as diverse as the creatures of the seas and is ever evolving as man tries in vain to satisfy his inherent need for God in his life.  However, the Way of God has never changed and never will. God’s Way has always been the same and will remain so, forever. The Apostle Peter tells us that God’s plan “was foreordained before the foundation of the world.” (I Pet. 1:20)

You see, man is the one who stands in need of an entrance into Heaven. But, due to our sinful nature inherited from Adam, we are defiled and unable to enter into the presence of the thrice Holy God. Yet, God, in His loving kindness and mercy, created THE WAY that would enable sinful man to be purged of his sin and to be able to enter not only Heaven, but also into a personal relationship with Him while we are still alive on this earth.

But how can I, a wretched sinner gain God’s favor & be justified in His sight?

Rom3v26

The word “justified” is a beautiful expression. It means to be declared righteous, or without sin.  A nice little play on words is this, “Just if I’d” never sinned ~ that’s what “justified” means!!

The wonderful thing about the verse pictured above is the truth that God is the one who justifies, He is the Justifier!!  It’s not up to me to justify myself before Almighty God. I don’t have to balance out the scales and make sure that my good outweighs my bad, I don’t have to measure myself against Mother Theresa or my spouse!!  All I have to do is repent of my sin and call on the Lord Jesus Christ, and when I do this God declares me to be justified.  In the eyes of God it is as if I’ve never sinned. My sins are all gone, gone, GONE!!  Hallelujah, praise the Lamb of God which was slain before the foundations of the world!!

Friend, have you been justified?  Have you personally come to the Risen & Living Saviour who took your place and suffered the punishment for you so that you might be saved?

If not, why not? If not, why not now? If not, don’t delay. Jesus is waiting to save you today!!

A Special Breakfast

Kids_Serve_Cate_Breakfast_In_Bed

After a very long week coupled with an extremely long day, my wife got to sleep in this morning.  Shortly after she made her way out of bed, the kids came to her and sent her back to bed for a few minutes.  A short while later, our daughter came in carrying a baking pan with a lovingly prepared breakfast just for Mommy.  What a special treat for her as she sat there eating MY pumpkin spice waffles 🙂

Effectual Fervent Praying

Writing to the “scattered brethren”, The Apostle James pens these words….”The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Over the last several days, I have had the wonderful privilege of joining my brothers and sisters that are “scattered” all over the world in prayer for a dear friend of ours, who is currently in, most likely, the final stages of life as his body succumbs to cancer.

In my own life it has been a blessing in the last few days as the Holy Spirit brings Michael and his family to my mind and prompts me to spend some time praying for them.  I have been encouraged as I realize that when I do so, I am joining hands with an army of prayer warriors, praying for the same thing.

What an amazing thing it is to reflect on what James wrote and to realize that my prayers can be effectual, that they can have an impact on the life of another person.  With such a great potential and privilege, this power that we have through the Lord Jesus Christ, ought to encourage each of us to “labour fervently” for those whom the Lord brings to our minds.

This was not an intended post. Rather, it is merely my hearts response to a post that I saw on Facebook, which reminded me that truly there is a battalion of soldiers praying for our dear brother, Michael, and his family.

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