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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 117)

Psalm 117Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.24.24 AM

Praise the Lord, all you nations;
    extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.28.17 AM

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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“Reaches to the Lowest Hell”? (a critique of a beloved hymn)

I love old hymns, and I especially love the hymn entitled “The Love of God” by F.M. Lehman.  Here are the lyrics to this song:

  1. The love of God is greater farScreen Shot 2015-08-26 at 10.40.06 AM
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  2. When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  3. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 10.45.41 AM
    Though stretched from sky to sky.
 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in hymns

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 116)

Psalm 116Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 7.36.51 AM

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LordScreen Shot 2015-04-26 at 7.44.00 AM
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord
    in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.[

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 15

This is our final post in our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2!

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s SAVING grace is also a TEACHING grace (vv. 11-12).  As a WAITING grace (v. 13), it helps us wait for Jesus to return for us. We’ve also seen that Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify us (v. 14).  The kind of people Jesus wants are those who are eager to do what is good, whenever and wherever we can!

These are powerful concepts which, if properly communicated, will have dramatic effects on those who pay attention to them.  The Christian gospel (the saving grace of God) not only redeems people, but tutors us in godly living. And we learn to be patient as we serve Him, waiting for His return.  But we are not to be waiting around — we are to be turning away from wickedness and focusing on being purified by that grace.  An eagerness to do good ought to mark the child of God.

If Titus 2:11-14 is a summary of what God’s grace does and is doing in the Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.08.09 AMbeliever’s life, then what do we do with these truths?  We teach them to others!  We do not let those who don’t believe them discourage us or push us into silence about what GOD has said! These things we should TEACH.  We should use these truths to ENCOURAGE and to REBUKE WITH ALL AUTHORITY!  We can’t prevent people from despising us or the message — but we can keep their unbelief from silencing us.

A few questions:

1.  Have you received this salvation-bringing grace for yourself?

2.  Are you a student of God’s grace, allowing it to instruct you in both the negative and the positive aspects of following Christ?

3.  Are you waiting for Christ to return, busy in His work, Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.13.37 AMand rejoicing in His full deity?

4.  How’s it going with the good-deed-doing?

5.  This touchy matter of purity — are you making progress in that whole area of growth?

6.  Do you look for opportunities to pass these truths on, to gently but clearly apply these first to yourself, then to those God gives you to influence?

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 115)

Psalm 115Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 6.38.00 AM

Not to us, Lord, not to us
    but to your name be the glory,
    because of your love and faithfulness.

Why do the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
    he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
    made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
    eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
    noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
    feet, but cannot walk,
    nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
    and so will all who trust in them.

All you Israelites, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.
10 House of Aaron, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.
11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 6.41.01 AM12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
    He will bless his people Israel,
    he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord
    small and great alike.

14 May the Lord cause you to flourish,
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord,
    but the earth he has given to mankind.
17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord,
    those who go down to the place of silence;
18 it is we who extol the Lord,
    both now and forevermore.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 14

Let’s continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s SAVING grace is also a TEACHING grace (vv. 11-12).  As a WAITING grace (v. 13), it helps us wait for Jesus to return for us. We’ve also seen that Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness (v. 14).

But He also gave Himself for us to purify for Himself (καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ) a people that are His very own (v. 14).  A holy God deserves a pure people.  He did not give Himself just to redeem; He gave Himself to purify!

We notice today that He gave Himself to purify a special kind of people:  “a people Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 7.25.07 AMthat are His very own, eager to do what is good.”  We belong to Him– and He wants us to do good!  I love what John Wesley said.  He said, Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the ways you can in all the places you can in all the times you can to all the people you can as long as ever you can.”

We can't save ourselves by our good deeds -- but we have been saved to DO good deeds!

We can’t save ourselves by our good deeds — but we have been saved to DO good deeds!

We have been saved to do good as His special people.  A writer by the name of Mary Lyon said,  “Trust in God and do something!” (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 114)

Psalm 114Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 5.42.50 AM

When Israel came out of Egypt,
    Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
Judah became God’s sanctuary,
    Israel his dominion.

The sea looked and fled,
    the Jordan turned back;
the mountains leaped like rams,
    the hills like lambs.

Why was it, sea, that you fled?
    Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
    you hills, like lambs?

Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool,
    the hard rock into springs of water.Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 5.46.08 AM

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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