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Showing posts from November 9, 2014

Character

How would you equate your character to your actions and words? It seems that some people feel like they have very good character but when you examine their actions and words you come to a different conclusion. Character is not something you pick up at the 7-11 store or download from the internet. It is something that takes time to develop and is influenced by your parents, teachers, books we read and leaders that influence our lives. The Psalmist equates the character of God to His works in Psalm 111. The character of God is righteous, enduring forever (vs. 3), gracious and compassionate (vs. 4), a provider(vs. 5a), redeemer, holy, awesome (vs. 9) and remembered (vs. 5b). So, this flows out in His works which are great and pondered by men (vs. 2), glorious and majestic (vs. 3), memorable (vs. 4), powerful (vs. 6), faithful and just and trustworthy (vs. 7). God's character is aligned with His works or deeds and words. There is no incongruity, no dissonance, and no misalignment bet…

Prayer

David faced Saul and others who were in opposition to him. He had to run sometimes but always had a heart for those who troubled him. Once hiding in a cave where Saul came in to relieve himself, David was urged to take him out but refused, respecting the position of King even if he could not respect the man in the position. So, what other example do we have of his kindliness in Scripture? There is one statement in Psalm 109 that clearly shows a different way he addressed opposition. It seems there were those who had "opened their mouths against" him (109:2); they had lied about him; their words were bathed in hate; and all of their attacks were done "without cause." (109:3) They had not been abused by David, neither had they been defamed. Their choice to speak evil of him came out of their own wickedness and deceitfulness. So, how did David respond? He did not try to defend himself or fight back. He refused to slander or maliciously attack them. He said, "bu…

Thanks

What is your response to your circumstances and those of your family and friends? It can be anger, desire for revenge, sorrow, disillusionment, and a host of other negative emotions but what normally does not come up as a response is thanks. The Psalmist in Psalm 107 for forty-three verses creates a pattern of thanks throughout a litany of all sorts of good and terrible events including the exodus from Egypt, wandering in the desert, hunger and thirst, darkness, gloom, slavery, rebellion, labor, distress, captivity, affliction and nearness to death. Four times in the midst of these descriptions he pauses to say, "Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men." (107:8, 15, 21, 31) He starts the Psalm by saying, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever." (107:1) And, ends it by saying, "consider the great love of the Lord." (107:43) The message is clear; God has His own purpose for us in …

Miracle

What about God's ability to overpower the natural elements of our world? Can He do this? Will we believe it when He does? The psalmist said, "Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron." This may seem like merely poetic license but let's check it out. "So Peter was kept in prison…Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. 'Quick, get up!' he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists. Peter followed him out of the prison…and came to the iron gate…It opened for them by itself and they went through it. When they had walked the length of the street, suddenly the angel left him." (Acts 12:5-10) "After they [Paul and Silas] had been severely flogged, they wer…