Posts

Showing posts from May 22, 2016

Personal Judgment

David in 2 Samuel 11 is shown to take just 27 verses to divert from God's laws and bring judgment on himself. Under the direction of David, Joab has taken the army of Israel into Ammonite territory to deal with their rebellion of amassing their own army and uniting with other forces to destroy Israel. The battle is waging on when the writer inserts chapter 11 into the middle of the story. With war waging and men dying, David is back in his palace. He is vulnerable to sin and decides to take Bathsheba into his arms. The result is the conception of a child who will be born but yet die shortly thereafter. David sin of adultery is followed by murder and the act of sweeping it "under the rug." But God brings it to light in His time by the prophet Nathan, and David, as a sinner should, repents and partakes of the consequences of his sin. This story suggests God's personal focus in the midst of His larger plan. God is more interested in David than He is in the Ammonities. Yes…

Creation and Love

What if you lived in a black and white world? What would you miss most? Take a moment to think about this. The psalmist said, "The earth is filled with your love, O Lord." (Psalm 119:64) How would you explain this? Some have translated it, "The earth is full of your steadfast love." That helps us see it as a perpetual and determined love. Wherever you look, there are evidences in creation of God's love. The hills are not left bare but covered with green trees. The high mountains are capped by white snow. The year cycles with seasons; flourishing and replenishing the plants and animals. Evaporation gathers pure water into the sky and then its clouds carry it to interior lands to drop its waters of refreshing. Variety of plants, trees, bushes, and flowers fill our senses. Vegetables and fruits for us to partake of grow in abundance; all kinds to nourish us. Colors, smells, tastes, sights reveal a loving creator who chooses to make the world a beautiful and plentifu…

Deep Comfort

Deep Comfort  We often think of our salvation as a lateral move. Once we were in sin, controlled by the sin nature, living a life apart from God. Then, salvation by faith in Christ came to our hearts and now we have a new nature brought to us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is a lateral move from old to new nature (I'm not saying that the old nature was removed). But there is a vertical connection that shows the depths of our salvation. Jesus spoke of it as he comforted the disciples after the Lord's Supper before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. He said, "On that day [the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit of God began to indwell believers] you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." (John 14:20) We pass over this short but deep words assuming we know what it means. Here is a greater explanation: "I am in my Father." Jesus is a part of the Trinity where there are three persons but only one essence, nature, and a sharing of…

Prayer's Problem

Are you satisfied with your present prayer life? I don't believe that many of us would say, "yes!" Prayer is our way of communicating with God and yet many of us are frustrated by prayer. We wonder, "why doesn't God answer my prayers?" You see, "He hears the prayer of the righteous." (Proverbs 15:29) All the reasons why our prayers are not answered are related to our heart. God said to Samuel when he was trying to discern which of Jesse's sons was to be anointed as king of Israel, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7) God is constantly looking at our hearts. He sees the problem. We have become impatient with God's timing. We fret because of the activity of evil men and do not trust in the Lord that He sees their hearts also. (Psalm 37:1-8) We keep sin in our hearts as the psalmist said, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened…" (Psalm 66:18) W…

Cornerstone

What does this term mean? It is a construction term related to the building of any building. A cornerstone was the first stone laid at the designated corner of a new structure. Because it was large, very solid and carefully constructed, it could be used to gauge the proper vertical and horizontal angles for the rest of the building. A plumb line was dropped down from the workmen's temporary structure to make sure the vertical wall that was being built came straight up from the cornerstone. We do this today with any brick or stone walls that we build. On the horizontal side, all measurements as to the width and length of the wall started at this stone. It can be called the cornerstone or the capstone. The psalmist used the word "capstone" to emphasize a change that would take place in leadership. He said, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone." (Psalm 118:22) And this is exactly repeated in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, and …