Sunday, February 26, 2012

Unfailing Love

Focus verses: Psalm 44

"Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love."

The hand of the Lord reaches to His people because of His love, not because of anything we have or have not done. There is none pure enough to stand righteous in the face of God on his own merits.

We are a weak and sinful creation. Left to our own devices, we fall into sin and wantonness. We tend to follow the lust of the flesh rather than the love of God. We satisfy our immediate appetites regardless of the consequences. We behave as if there were no consequences.

This psalm should be our prayer for our nation today. Look at all the things we've done.

We've allowed prayer to be stripped from our schools.

We have gagged the word of God and removed symbols of our faith from public lands.

We've misconstrued our own Constitution and the amendments thereto, twisting them to read that not only can government not interfere with religion (which was the original intent), but religion can have no say in government (which was not true even when the constitution was written).

The Declaration of Independence refers to a Supreme Being three times. Look for these three phrases: "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" - "endowed by their Creator" - "the Supreme Judge of the world."

The foundation of our freedoms lies in our understanding of God and His moral laws. Having flouted those laws and turned our backs on the Author of those laws, we are now reaping the consequences of His disfavor.

Father, God,

Remember our beginnings. In Your unfailing love, draw our nation back to Yourself. Restore us to the values of our roots and cleanse us from our iniquities.
In Jesus' most precious name.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Focus verses: Romans 1:18-32

There is an agenda in this society to shame Christians with their "intolerance" for immorality. Some things in the Word of God are not debatable.
  1. You are to love God.
  2. You are to love your neighbor.
  3. Jesus is the only way to salvation.
  4. You are to tell the truth at all times.
  5. You are to spread the good news of Jesus.
Here we have the proscription against homosexuality. But not only in this passage, we find it in the Old Testament as well. I really prefer the King James translation of this verse.

But we live in a society which wants us to be quiet. Christians are all right as long as they stay cloistered in their churches and don't make waves for the rest of the world.

Political correctness insists that we not only turn a blind eye to this sin, but we are to support all its perversions. There are laws that could make it illegal for a preacher to read this passage in church. And Heaven fore fend that we should speak of this sin as a sin.

This is the kind of convoluted thinking that leads a criminal to sue his victim for injuries he sustained on the victim's property during the commission of his crime.

Detailed description of sin is not necessary. There is an element in every person that knows right from wrong. We need to be definite about not compromising the principles of moral behavior.

God has no patience with sin. He exacted a price for our sins.

Our only defense is to recognize that price and honor the One Who Paid by conducting ourselves as He would have us behave and by not tolerating legislated misconduct.

Father, God,

Give us the boldness to speak Your truth at all times. Help us to be courageous enough to call wrong "wrong" even when it is dangerous to do so.

In Jesus' most precious name.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Seeking Ourselves

Focus verses: Genesis 1:26-30.

Can you identify yourself? Who, exactly, are you? Not your name. Nor your job. Nor your relationship to any another person or persons. What is the essence of who you are?

These verses tell you. You are a being created in the image of God. You are not God. You will never be a god. But you are created to be like Him. And He commissioned you!

He delegated His life-creating powers to the union of male and female. And He commanded that you be fruitful and fill the earth.

And subdue it. Take authority over the earth, an authority that was delegated by God, the Creator of the universe. If you know anything about military or corporate structure, you know that your authority is limited by the person to whom you report. Your authority never exceeds that of the superior officer.

So, too, we need to be aware that while we have been given authority and dominion by God, we are still subordinate to Him. While we rule over the earth and all it's fauna, we are not, ultimately, the One in charge.

You will note, also, that God gave us a vegetarian diet. And this vegetarian diet was not limited to man, but to the animals as well. Animals were not originally intended for food. That came later.

Hmmm... So who am I? I am a child of God, created in the image of my heavenly Father. I was designed to be creative and fruitful. I was given authority over the earth and the living creatures. And I was designed to eat seeds and fruit -- not meat.

Father, God,

As I have questions about myself, my goals, and my endeavors, help me to seek the answers by seeking to know You better.
In Jesus' most precious name.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Place of Rest

I keep remembering the words of the old hymn:

There is a place of quiet rest
Near to the heart of God.
A place where sin cannot molest
Near to the heart of God.

In a world where sin seems rampant and sovereign, I like to reflect on the fact that God keeps a small corner of stillness for our retreat. Some days that retreat is the only place of serenity in the entire universe.

People disappoint us either by accident or by malice. Circumstances frustrate us whether it is technology glitching or traffic jamming.

And we let ourselves down by being less that we could or should be. Most exasperating to me are the times when I come across something I intended to do and didn't. Those are the times I need to remind myself of my worth in God's eyes.

If there had been only one person in the world, Jesus would still have come as Redeemer. If it had only been me, He would still have gone to the cross. He'd have done it for you if you were the only one as well.

When we look at the price God paid for our salvation, we are reminded that we are not important because we are who we are - but because of the value He placed on each of us.

There is another old hymn:

Jesus paid it all.
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow.

Look back at some of the older hymns and recognize the validity of the theology contained therein. When we forsake all the old hymns in favor of only new choruses, we lose part of our roots. Find an old hymn this week and think about the words and thoughts it sings.

Father God, I thank you for this place of rest and healing near to your heart. Help me to see through all the miscellany of life to the reality of the one thing that is most important -- my relationship to you. In Jesus' most precious name.