David said, “It is good to praise the Lord, & make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning & your faithfulness at night.” (Ps 92:1,2) Praise and worship is not something simply reserved for a Sunday service but it is to be a daily expression of your heart. If God is not a part of your everyday life, praise will be absent and worship will be void. We have a tendency to allow life to dictate and regulate our focus. Our hearts are so cluttered with problems, challenges and busyness that God is squeezed out of our thoughts and schedules. Don’t leave God out of your day, His love out of your morning or His faithfulness out of your night. Take time to make music to His glorious name. It is a good thing… Let The Music Begin!
Man doesn’t realize or accept their limitations; they believe they are the all-knowing ones. The first man, Adam, rejected the counsel of God & fostered a rebellious spirit in mankind. If religious leaders & men of great understanding really comprehended that Jesus was The Messiah, they would not have lifted Him up on a cross but exalted Him upon a throne. So much for man’s great insight & judgment…yet we are not without hope. Man has the opportunity to see, hear & understand through the empowerment of The Holy Spirit (1 Cor.2:9,10) The Spirit searches the deep things of God & reveals them to us. He enables us to speak & react with a Godly perspective. When you need direction…don’t look within but look to Him!
Men seek the extraordinary & are enamored by success. The world wasn’t impressed by Christ’s natural ability, strength or lifestyle. They rejected His message and despised His name. They believed His death on the cross clearly revealed His weakness and hypocrisy. Little did they know, the cross wasn’t the end…it was the beginning! His resurrection validated the life giving, redemptive purpose of the cross. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (vs.18) The cross of Christ defies and destroys the world’s definition of wisdom and strength. Childlike faith in a “foolish” cross will set men free from the bondage, hold and penalty of sin…that is power!
“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish.” (Proverbs 19:9) We live in a world where “truth” is twisted and thwarted. A false witness not only lies, they condemn and convict the innocent. They destroy the reputation and character of others for their own gain. Even in the present political landscape, truth is difficult to discern. Candidates and their supporters defame opponents with destructive deceit. They desire to win at all costs; spewing untruths and verbal attacks in order to be elected. Yet the political arena is just a reflection of the envy, pride and selfishness of our culture. Remember, false witnesses and liars never win…they will not escape the judgment of a righteous God. He has the deciding vote!
Paul gives special greetings to a list of people in the church who were endearing to him. (Ro.16) He encouraged the Romans as well as other churches to recognize the deep spiritual ties that held them together. When I was a young boy we sang, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God…” I always liked that song because of the people who were singing it with me! I haven’t seen those church people in years but I have fond, special & cherished memories. I can never repay my Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, care givers & pastors who mentored me. They encouraged & supported me to pursue God’s call on my life. They poured themselves into my life & loved me unconditionally…they were family. Don’t overlook the family in your life!
The timetable of heaven is far different than the timetable of earth. ”For a 1,000 years in your sight are like a day…” (Ps 90:4) When you calculate David’s math, one year in heaven is equivalent to roughly 1 minute and 20 seconds on earth! Your lifetime of 70 years or more is small compared to God’s eternal 1 hour and 22 minutes! We are often overwhelmed by the temporal and lose sight of God’s eternal purpose and plan. The “long” days of earthly exhaustion and challenge are considered fleeting seconds to the eternal joys of heaven. God has an eternal plan for your life; make sure to live every moment in the light of His presence and purpose… His timetable is eternal!
Hope believes a positive ending will come out of a time of uncertainty. We often associate God with “love” but Paul also identifies God as, “The God of Hope” (Ro. 15:13). God is the hope of man in the midst of their uncertainties and fears. He makes circumstances and outcomes favorable because of His grace and mercy. This hope that flows from above does not come alone but brings along an abundance of joy and peace... joy that dispels discouragement and peace that quiets the roar of worry. People spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in counseling to have this depth of joy and peace. This powerful experience cannot be found outside of God as He takes hope, peace and joy to a new level…a supernatural level!
“He who finds a wife finds what is good & receives favor from the Lord.” (Pr. 18:22) I have been so blessed to be able to experience the unfolding of God’s purpose for my life these past 38 years…my wife, Yvonne, is God’s blessing to me! For others, they believe God got it wrong because the love & joy that was once powerfully present in their marriage dissipated & became hopelessly elusive. The enemy fought against the union of husband & wife in the Garden of Eden & still attacks marriage today. The challenge & call is for every husband is to love & lead his wife in the light of Christ’s example. Wives are called to complete their husband’s life & be their greatest support. God did not get it wrong…we have a difficult time getting it right!
We read these words in The Pledge of Allegiance…“one nation under God…” Despite government’s response to the place that God has in our land, they don’t determine God’s place…God determines their place! Man isn’t in control, God is! Knowing that truth, Paul instructs us to submit to governing authorities…“there is no authority except that which God has established.” (Ro 13:1) The political landscape for the early church was challenging as Nero came against them with vengeance & cruelly slaughtered thousands of innocent believers. As God provided for the early church; He provides for us. Jesus will return riding on a triumphant white horse, not on a donkey or elephant. Don’t worry…God has a plan and He has it all under control!