December 12, 2017

In You Alone

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Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation,
my Fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my Refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in Him at all times.
Pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our Refuge.
Psalms 62:5-8

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

I read David’s writings daily.  Who can’t relate to an awesome king that loved God…yet was extremely human and sought forgiveness when he was wrong.  There is so much hope and healing in his writings and I find myself praying his words back to God.

David was a spiritual man and an extremely emotional one, too.  Many times he wrote these psalms out of his own feelings—feelings of amazement, fear, love, anger, and pain.  And this particular psalm was written in a time of disappointment, a time that David had been let down over and over.  If you have lived into adulthood, then you know how this feels.  It’s even harder when the person who disappoints you is a man or woman of God.  It can shake us off our firm foundation if we let it.

The person in David’s life was Saul and David’s eyes were opened as a teenager.  He couldn’t believe that someone could really go that far off the right path and let sin take him down so far.  Later in his life, David himself would slip, too.  No one is immune to sin and no one will ever walk a perfect journey here on earth—except Jesus!  Pastors will mess up. Friends in the congregation may stop coming. But good can from this…if we don’t let bitterness and resentment in.

The theme in this psalm of David’s is God alone.  He didn’t let bitterness come from his shattered expectations.  Instead he found hope in his Father.  He realized that the only constant on this earth is God.  Good people will hurt you and they will slip and sometimes they may never come back into God’s house again.  This shouldn’t sway you either way; and, if it does, it is time to do some reconnecting with God the Father.

Read verses 1-2 and 5-8 out loud.  Put the emphasis on every repetition of the words ‘God, He, and Him’.  Can you hear it?  See, because David poured out his heart to God, and he didn’t let it fester and build up, bitterness couldn’t take hold.  He had a hope and a rest in God.  In Hebrew, the word ‘hope’ means “a cord or an attachment.”  Everyone is holding onto something, or someone, for security.  Sometimes we hold onto a knotted rope and depend on whatever is on the other end to keep us from falling.

Picture that rope in your hands…
close your eyes and look up the rope…
who do you see on the other end?

Unless God is at the end of your rope, you’re about to fall…and you’re hanging on by a thread.  God alone can hold us up.  So the next time you allow someone to disappoint you, whisper two words to yourself—“God alone“.  When you decide to let that person off the hook and let God alone hold the other end of your rope, you will attach yourself to God’s strong arm.  He can hold you up over the deep and strong waves.  You will be secure enough to let one arm go free to help the person that disappointed you along the way, until he or she gets back on their feet.  And you will be able to say that it was worth all of the hard!  For you will really have found that your strength can only be found in Him.

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Let us pray:  Dear God, You are so great and You are fully able to do anything we ask or think according to Your will.  I am in awe of You.  Thank You for loving us so much and for sending Jesus to die in our place.  Oh God, forgive us when we place people above You and expect them to fulfill us…for only You can satisfy our every need.  Let us never forget that only You are perfect.  Help us to keep our eyes on You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyTwo: Bride, Friend, and More

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Yesterday we read in our study of CHRISTLife: Embracing Your True and Deepest Identity that we are ACCEPTED by God through all that Christ accomplished for us.  It is “in Christ” that we are accepted by God Almighty.  God knows every bit of you—every thought, every action, every single thing that makes you you—and He accepts you because you have been made new.  You are righteous, you are justified, you are sanctified, you are purified, you are His child.  He has brought you into a relationship with Him that is like no other!  And you belong to Him!

In today’s reading, Mrs. Myers continues to encourage us by communicating more and more proper images to hold in our thoughts of who we really are.  She writes about God being our Husband (Isaiah 54:5) and that we collectively are the Bride of Christ (Romans 7:4).  She reminds us that Jesus calls us ‘friend’ (John 15:14-15), and that we are now citizens of God’s heavenly Kingdom (Hebrews 13:14).  And that we are God’s servant, just as Jesus Himself gave us His example (Philippians 2:7).

And, as she writes (page 136), “Our belongingness also means that God accepts us as His true worshippers…made possible by our spiritual oneness with Christ.”   To worship is to acknowledge Who and What God is—and God has made Himself known to us through His Word. Through the Scriptures, we find the knowledge of Him.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence,
2 Peter 1:2 and 3

We never have to worry or be concerned that we might be worshipping the Almighty God in a wrong or disrespectful way. We have been given the Truth—God’s Word is Truth.

During Jesus’ prayer just before He was taken captive in the Garden of Gesthemene, He prayed to His Father for those who were with Him, and also for us (“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word…” verse 20). He prayed,

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy]
by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.
John 17:17

And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be sanctified in Truth.
Verse 19

We not only have the Truth but, by God’s grace, we have been sanctified by the Truth.  Being sanctified <purified, consecrated, separated out, made holy> we are able to truly worship God in holiness.  As such we can come before Him, holy and acceptable, worshipping Him as we will do throughout eternity.  Oh, what glory that will be!  But no need to wait…remember we are accepted through Jesus’ accomplishments…we can worship Him now!  We can bring Him honor and glory and worship, all due to His mercy and grace.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:20

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1

We have the privilege to worship Him…just as the angels and the saints around His throne are doing right now!  But not everyone, at this time, can truly worship our God—only those who are His.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well,
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

John 4:23 and 24

For we are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit, and glory in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 3:3

For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.
Matthew 4:10

God is the object—the sole object—of our worship.  Not wonderful people, not saints, not angels.  As John was warned by the angel sent by Jesus to give him the prophecy in the Book of Revelations:

Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me,
“You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you
and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus.
Worship God.
Revelation 19:10

Worship belongs to Almighty God, the Great I AM.  King David knew this.  David worshipped God alone.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
and the sheep of His hand.
Psalms 95:6-7

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
bring an offering, and come into His courts!
Worship the Lord in holy array;
tremble before Him, all the earth!
Psalms 96:7-9

I will extol You, my God and King, and bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You and praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.
Psalms 145:1-3

It is our joy and our privilege to worship our God!  We have been accepted and made holy, like He is, and given the right to come before Him to worship Him in spirit and truth.