Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty (constancy) is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
_ _ _ _ _
For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power (moral power and excellence of soul). (1 Corinthians 4:20)
_ _ _ _ _
I WILL extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to You and You have healed me.
O Lord, You have brought my life up from Sheol (the place of the dead); You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit (the grave).
Sing to the Lord, O you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, but His favor is for a lifetime or in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
As for me, in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
By Your favor, O Lord, You have established me as a strong mountain; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
I cried to You, O Lord, and to the Lord I made supplication.
What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit (the grave)? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth and faithfulness to men?
Hear, O Lord, have mercy and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!
You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
To the end that my tongue and my heart and everything glorious within me may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:1-12
Friday, August 14, 2009
how then can man understand his way? (Proverbs 20:24)
A person makes his own decisions and is responsible for them, but paradoxically God directs the steps of each. This paradox demonstrates the limitations of human discernment; if a person does not fully comprehend the pattern of his own life, how can he be competent to judge others? (ESV Notes on Proverbs 20:24)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:26-2:5).
Let our faith rest not in the wisdom of men,
Let our faith rest not in craft,
Let our faith rest not in our own wisdom,
Let our faith rest not even in the institutionalised church,
But let our faith rest in the power of God, demonstrated through man, through ourselves and through the body of His church.
Monday, August 10, 2009
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul's glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.
All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine
Friday, August 7, 2009
I love this passage, because I love the word of God. Reading this again this morning only seems to increase my excitement for not only seeking the word, but being a doer and not just a hearer of the word.
One of the most prosperous and successful times in my life occurred about 2 years ago when I began to run 2-3 times a week with a good friend. We decided to memorise scripture throughout the week and to test each other come the beginning of the next. We started with the book of Psalms; one Psalm a week. Since that time Psalm 1 has never left me. I can still recite it word for word. Within a couple of days of beginning I found my self waking up to...'Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinner, or sit it the seat of mockers, but his delight is in the Law of the Lord...' I would lay in bed late a night and the only thing going through my head would be...'he is like a tree planted by streams of water who yields it's fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither...whatever he does prospers.
When I look back on that time, I don't think my marriage had been in a better place up until that point. I don't think i had experienced peace like I did then for a long time. I encountered great favor at work. I made more money in 4 months than I'd previously made in a year. I don't think I realised it then but when I look back on it now...whatever I did seemed to prosper. Perhaps because for the first time in a while, I was not walking in the council of anyone but God. My delight was in the law of the Lord.
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father (2 Chron. 34:1-3).
Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don't get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you're going. And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed (Joshua 1:8 Msg).
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Behold my affliction and my pain and forgive all my sins [of thinking and doing]. (Psalm 25:18)
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for and expect You.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I love that Hezekiah was a leader that fought for the spiritual health of his people.
I love that he called all Israel and Judah, & Ephraim and Manasseh, 'that they should come to the house of the LORD' (2 Chron. 30:1).
I love that he led his people to remove the altars that were in Jerusalem (v14).
I love that in bringing leadership to his people, he influenced them to bring Godly leadership to themselves, 'the whole assembly agreed together to keep the feast for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with gladness (v23).
I love that he called their attention to the Glory of the Lord, he called them, 'to minister in the gates of the camp of the Lord and to give thanks and praise' (31:2).
I love that he led his people to bring abundant offerings to the Lord, again, by asking them to nothing that he wasn't prepared to do himself, (31:3).
I love that his concern was not only for the priests, but for the priests and their whole family, 'They were enrolled with all their little children, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, the whole assembly, for they were faithful in keeping themselves holy' (31:18).
So why is it rare to read that Hezekiah, as opposed to many of the other Kings of Judah, 'did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God' (31:20)? Perhaps because the Lord was not just the Lord, but the 'Lord his God'. Leadership is not biblical leadership unless you lead from a revelation of the Lord 'your' God.
'And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered'. (2 Chron. 31:21)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah (Psalm 24:1-10)
The Hebrew for clean (Ps. 24:4) can also be translated “innocent”; clean hands are those that have acted innocently toward others (Gen. 20:5; Ps. 26:6; 73:13). Likewise the pure heart is the one cleansed of all unworthy motives toward other people. (The lxx [Gk.] for “pure heart” lies behind the sixth beatitude, Matt. 5:8.) Thus true piety is shown both in hunger for God (Ps. 24:6) and in fair and generous dealing with one another (v. 4). (ESV Study Bible, notes on Psalm 24:3-4).
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
What I find most important however is the fact that he didn't allow his 'alarmedness' to overpower his ability to make good decisions. And his first good decision was not to call his men to war. It wasn't to double the amount of training & preparation. It wasn't to ensure that their weapons were in good fighting condition or that they would eat more carbs and protein in order to build their strength. In fact quite the opposite...he proclaimed a fast for all Judah and resolved to enquire of the Lord. You'd think that with two and a half armies on their way he'd at least allow his soldiers to continue to eat in order to build and maintain peak physical condition. Perhaps Jehoshaphat understood that the Lords power is made perfect in our weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:9).
What I also love is that as he makes the decision to seek the Lord, all of Judah comes with him. 'All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD' (20:13). What a great example for all generations. Leadership is not about having the answer or the strategy. Leadership is about having the courage to seek God first. 'For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you' (20:12)
Leadership is about calling the attention of all generations to the Glory of God regardless of circumstance. 'Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD' (20:18). Leaders lead in worship before they lead in anything else.
Leaders lead in faith. 'Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld' (20:20).
Leaders teach their people how to praise even before victory is seen in the natural. 'Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever' (20:21), (This is what they were singing as they were walking in to battle).
Leaders take no glory or themselves.
'Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets'.(20:27,28)
The fruit of Godly leadership is peace.
'The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
So perhaps his first decision was to call his people to war. His strategy was God.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Having said that Paul still recognised the leadership that was on his life. He was saying to the church in Corinth, 'Follow me, your leader, as I follow Christ'. But how often do we live with distress because we seem to think that if we were the one leading, we'd do a much better Job? And whilst we're anything but a No.1 we're wrongly positioned!
Psalm 20 says, 'May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you'.
This sounds like the kind of prayer you'd pray over your own life when you find yourself wrestling with the above mentioned emotions.
The problem is, this Psalm is a prayer of intercession. A prayer of leaders who follow, praying for their leader who follows. The people of Israel were sending a clear message to David their King, their No. 1 and who was in distress.
So what's my point?
If there's leadership on your life, be the first follower. And as you follow, intercede for your leaders, because it will only be once God has appointed you No.1 that you'll discover a whole new level of distress that you never knew existed when you were following yet desiring to lead as a No. 2
So bless your leaders today and pray Psalm 20 over their life.
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
O LORD, save the king!
Answer us when we call!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Isn't it interesting that although God leads us into His promises for our life, there still remains opposition. The question is why?
I think we too often equate opposition with 'perhaps I haven't received God's promise yet'. And perhaps there's an element of truth in this, for the Israelites were facing opposition as a result of their disobedinece, and surely disobedience is not what God desired for or from them.
The question is; is God's promise for our life a desitnation? If it is, then you'd have to say that whilst there's opposition, you're still yet to arrive.
But if it's a jouney, then surely it will always remain. Why? because it presents an opportunity for obedience. Judges 2:22 says 'I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did.'
Judges 3:1 says 'These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience)'
So perhaps opposition will always be present where preparation for warfare is needed. I think this may remain until we get to heaven!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Here am I, all of me
Take my life, it’s all for Thee.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
Here am I, all of me
Take my life, it’s all for Thee.
Frances R. Havergal, 1874.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! Romans 13:11-14 (The Message)