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A Study of Psalm 34 (Part 3)

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2022 in Psalm 34

 

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A Study of Psalm 34 (Part 2)

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2022 in Psalm 34

 

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Living for Jesus in an Un-Christian World: A Study of the Epistle of Jude (Principle #4)

 

 

 

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

The woman sitting next to me at the concert was about 80 years old with upswept silver hair. Her whole manner indicated a background of genteel breeding and taste. As the concert progressed it was obvious that she was caught up in the performance. Her rapture built until, after a particularly moving number, she could restrain herself no longer. Tapping me on the knee, she implored, “Oh, do shout `BRAVO’ for me!” (W.P. Hovey, Jr. in Readers’ Digest)

With an economy of words, Jude has written to a group of believers under attack. Although he originally wanted to discuss the joys of our common salvation, he (led by the Spirit of God) issues instead not just a survival strategy, but a battle plan to help the believers confront false teaching. (vv. 1-4)

If the gospel is true, it deserves our best efforts at defending it. If it has indeed changed our lives, we would be without excuse if we did not fight earnestly for the good news about Jesus for the sake of others.In an environment which perverts God’s grace and denigrates God’s Son, Jude does not encourage these believers to huddle together, sing hymns to one another, and allow the world to go to hell. He uses his knowledge of biblical history to speak of the God who both delivers and destroys, who hates unbelief, and who bring His sternest judgment upon those who stand against Him. Unbelief is spiritual mutiny — and God will not hold guiltless those who so rebel. (vv. 5-19)

But the battle plan is not just defensive. The believer is to go on the offense, especially regarding his own life. (vv. 20-23) He is to grow deeply in the truths of God by putting into practice the implications of his most holy faith and by reaching out to those who are presently outside the family of God.

The atmosphere in which these three principles are to be applied is found in verses 24-25. We are to live our lives as a hymn to the One who has saved us! Daily doxology (praise) is be rendered up to this mighty Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

His Two Abilities
We learn in verse 24 that Christ is able to perform two actions on behalf of the believer:

(1) He is able “to keep you from stumbling . . .” The theme of God’s keeping power was mentioned in the first verse of this epistle as Jude addressed his audience: “To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.” The normal Christian involves a confidence in God’s keeping power.

Chuck Swindoll put it this way: “I may tremble on the Rock, but the Rock never trembles under me! And that inner assurance not only relieves my fear, it allows me to carry on with much greater efficiency. And rather than causing me to be indifferent and irresponsible, it inspires me to direct all my energies toward those things that please and glorify the name of my heavenly Father . . . eternally protected because He has me in His all-powerful hand.” (Eternal Security)

(2) He is able “to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy . . .” Christ is looking forward to making that presentation as we learn in Ephesians 5. There we are told, “25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

In this Ephesians text He is going to present her (you!) to himself (2 Cor. 11:2) as a radiant church.Please notice that the church will be “without fault” and He will make His presentation “with great joy.”

I’m afraid that many Christians, although they acknowledge that God loves them, are not all that sure that God likes them very much. I appreciate the preacher who said to his congregation, “Never doubt His affection for you. He’s crazy about you!”

What He Deserves
What does the Lord deserve from us? Our uninhibited adoration. He is the only God — and He is worthy of all the glory, majesty, power and authority. Do we bring Him any of these things?I think the answer is a qualified “yes.” Although the Lord is the All-Sufficient One, and His perfections can never be improved, Scripture indicates that we can bring Him glory (Ps. 86:9- “All the nations . . . will bring glory to your name”; Rev. 15:4- “Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”).

When are we to ascribe glory, majesty, power and authority to God? This great little epistle ends by saying, “before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2021 in CHRISTIAN LIVING

 

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A Great Praise Song! Please take the time to watch this!

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2020 in praise

 

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On Becoming Seventy! A Few Reflections (Part 7 of 7) Y=YOUTHFULNESS!

Groundhogs’ Day. February 2nd. That’s my birthday! Now, I think that Groundhogs’ Day ought to be declared a national holiday. This furry creature comes out of its comfortable underground home to prognosticate about the next six weeks of weather — Surely that deserves to be honored as a national holiday!

But it’s also my birthday. My 70th birthday. TODAY! And we’ve been thinking about a couple of issues when it arrives.

We’re using the acronym SEVENTY as our guide. We’ve thought about the letter “S” (survival), the letter “E” (for engagement), the letter “V” (for victory), the letter “E” for (evangelism), the letter “N” (for newness), and the letter “T” (for trusting). Let’s conclude with the letter “Y” for YOUTHFULNESS!

That might be the last word you would come up with in considering my ancient birthday of SEVENTY! But the Bible has something to say about AGE. We read in Psalm 103:

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

That’s what I need — renewed, eagle’s youth! How does one get renewed, eagle’s youth? The Psalmist tells us:
1. It’s first of all by living a life of PRAISE! This practice of praise begins with self-talk! Have you told your soul lately to “praise the Lord” (v. 1)? Have you told your soul the same thing a second time (v. 2)?
2. Secondly, it’s reminding ourselves to REMEMBER! Don’t forget all His benefits (v. 2). Take the time today to list at least ten benefits you’ve received from knowing Christ Jesus as your Savior!
3.Thirdly, it’s reflecting on how you’ve been REDEEMED FROM THE PIT (v. 4).  It’s hard not to think of Joseph being tossed into a pit by his jealous brothers, isn’t it? Some pits are of our own construction; others are shoved under us by outside forces. But He, the Lord, majors in pit-rescues!
4.Fourthly, he CROWNS us with love and compassion (v. 4). Wow! Do you sense His love and compassion in your daily life? If not, get into the Word!
5.
Lastly, He SATISFIES your desires with good things (v. 5)! When the Rolling Stones sang, “I can’t get no satisfaction!” in 1965, they probably didn’t realize that their double negative was really saying, “I can get satisfaction”!  We can get our deepest satisfaction from God alone. And He recalibrates our desires so we want the good things He provides!

Thanks for reading these posts from a man who, by God’s grace, has reached his “threescore and ten”!

Pray with me? “Lord of My Years, please guide me and use me in the time remaining to me. I want renewed eagle’s youth, Father. Please give that to me! In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2020 in 70th birthday

 

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Getting to Know . . . I Samuel! (2:1-11) A MIGHTY PRAYER OF FAITH!

“No more diapers to change!”  I doubt those were the words of Hannah as she left Eli’s presence after turning over her son Samuel!  Some suggest she may have had six other sons (see 2:5) to take care of.  But she keeps her vow and praises God for His answering her agonized prayer.

Please notice several features in Hannah’s prayer:

1. She focuses on the character of her God!  “There is no one holy like the Lord, no one besides you, no Rock like our God.” (v. 2).  “The Lord is a God who knows; by him deeds are weighed.” (v. 3).  He is the Lord who brings death and makes alive; He sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and exalts (vv. 6-7).  The Lord will judge the ends of the earth (v. 10).  Hannah knew her Lord!
2.  She rejoices in God’s meeting her need!  She describes herself as “those who were hungry are hungry no more.  She who was barren has borne seven children! (v. 5).  She sees herself as one who has been raised from the dust, from the ash heap, and has been seated with princes (v. 8).
3. She speaks warnings to the wicked!  Those who talk proudly or speak arrogantly will be weighed by the Lord (v. 3).  He breaks the bows of the warriors (v. 4).  The wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness (v. 9).  Those who oppose the Lord will be broken (v. 10).

Elkanah (with Hannah and Peninnah) return home, “but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest (v. 11).

Oh, that my knowledge of and faith in the Lord were close to Hannah’s!

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2018 in I Samuel 2

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord: Psalm 150

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-6-39-17-am

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2017 in praise

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord: Psalm 148

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-7-19-56-am

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2017 in praise

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord: Psalm 146

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord.screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-7-04-13-am

Praise the Lord, my soul.

I will praise the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
    in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God.

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
    and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
    the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The Lord reigns forever,
    your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2017 in the Lord's works

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord: Psalm 135

Psalm 135

Praise the Lord.screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-5-19-28-am

Praise the name of the Lord;
    praise him, you servants of the Lord,
you who minister in the house of the Lord,
    in the courts of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own,
    Israel to be his treasured possession.

5 I know that the Lord is great,
    that our Lord is greater than all gods.
The Lord does whatever pleases him,
    in the heavens and on the earth,
    in the seas and all their depths.
He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
    he sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

He struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    the firstborn of people and animals.
He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, Egypt,
    against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations
    and killed mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
    Og king of Bashan,
    and all the kings of Canaan—
12 and he gave their land as an inheritance,
    an inheritance to his people Israel.

13 Your name, Lord, endures forever,
    your renown, Lord, through all generations.
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
    made by human hands.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
    eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears, but cannot hear,
    nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them,
    and so will all who trust in them.

19 All you Israelites, praise the Lord;
    house of Aaron, praise the Lord;
20 house of Levi, praise the Lord;
    you who fear him, praise the Lord.
21 Praise be to the Lord from Zion,
    to him who dwells in Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2017 in praise

 

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