PSALM 17: JUSTICE GOD’S WAY

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It’s funny to me to see just how backwards we can be at times. Think about one of the hardest concepts man cannot fathom: God has always existed, man has not. Imagine that. God never has not existed. Because humanity has a starting point we seem to think all things, and beings have a starting point as well. We are right about everything…except God, of course! Since God has always existed, He sets the barometer for everything that He has created. He is pure love, our love is tainted. He is pure excellence, our excellence is tainted. He is pure justice, our justice is tainted. The overall blemish on our side can be generally summed up with one word: selfishness. We are selfish from birth, and at times we kind of have to be. God has never been selfish, and He never has to be.

If God has always existed, and every characteristic within His nature is pure, we should at the very least strive to attain His purity within us, shouldn’t we? Striving for His purity will never be attained fully while here on earth, but they say, aim for the stars and you will at least reach the moon. In other words, don’t just think, “well I’ll never be perfect, so why bother trying!” We need to, at the very least, live by a standard that shows we want to reflect our Father, our heavenly Father! I’m mainly speaking at the individual level, but also at a national level too. Let’s look at this from the justice perspective. The psalmist says:

 

1 Hear a just cause, O Lord, give heed to my cry. Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips. 2 Let my judgment come forth from Your presence. Let Your eyes look forth with equity. 3 You have tried my heart, You have visited me by night, You have tested me and You find nothing. I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.

 

Now, anyone who knows this psalmist (David), knows that David was a man after God’s own heart, but he had a few hiccups in his lifetime. Upon a quick reading of just these three verses you can point to at least three misleading statements here. In verse one David says his prayer, “is not from deceitful lips.” Verse three he says, “You have tested me and You find nothing” and “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.” Wait just a minute here! Is this the same David who committed adultery, covered up his sin by murdering the rightful husband, and hid the truth from everyone? Is this the same man who allowed pride to rise up in him by counting how big his military was against God’s wishes? Is this the same man who, through countless psalms, is crying out to God for mercy for his sinful behavior?

Our problem is that we know how to judge people according to their actions, and at times we need to judge according to actions. But God’s system is different. He judges from the heart. He judges motives, as only He can. There are good people who do bad things and get the full punishment for it, and there are bad people who do good things and are treated like saints, but God knows who the good people really are! Because David was a man after God’s own heart, God’s mercy covered him. God is a protector of His people. His people are tied to His mission, so He keeps them until their mission is accomplished. There are times God will fight for your integrity, other times He will fight to keep you alive, other times He will fight to sustain you, but He fights for you!

Justice God’s way means if you believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, and have turned from your sinful ways, and have chosen to take on God’s mission as your own, He will forgive your sins, and be with you through the presence of the Holy Spirit until the very end. Your life may be marked with trials and tribulations, but God will keep through it all. Man will try and wreck you but God, through Scripture, the Church, or through whatever means possible (even a blog, lol), will sustain you.

So even though David had a lot of sin problems at times in his life, he understood what God’s justice system was all about. Being a man after God’s own heart teaches you the finer things of the heart of God. So when David had a bold prayer he just took it up to God, and allowed God to take it from there. When you have a strong relationship with God, there is a confidence about your understanding of Him. And you proceed accordingly. This is a further word from David upon God’s heart:

 

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness towards those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. PSALM 103: 11-13

 

Are you awestruck by the Lord today? His lovingkindness and compassion are there for you right now! Believe His gospel, turn from your ungodly ways, and make His mission your own, and be blessed!

 

 

PSALM 16: THE WORST TRADE IN HISTORY!

Babe Ruth for some cash…Herschel Walker for a bunch of draft picks…Esau’s birthright for a bowl of soup…these all qualify as horrible trades. Usually a trade will have at least somewhat equal value on both sides. But there is a trade that so many people make without even blinking an eye, that is the most unequal of all trades:

 

4 The sorrows of those who have bartered for (ran to) another god will be multiplied…

 

Imagine the God of heaven, the God of the universe, offering mankind the opportunity to spend their eternal life in heaven even though they lived a life far unworthy to be considered for such a gift. Imagine the extreme joy that one feels upon receiving that gift. The gift of eternal life found only in Jesus Christ is a very believable concept. Many, upon hearing it will pray that God will forgive them of their sins and help them along that path to eternal life. They repent, go to church for some time, even maybe serve for a time while there. The newness of this gospel has truly affected them, while in church.

Its easy to be a believer among the believers, but how do you respond to constant criticism when outside the church. Many Christians will speak the gospel at work, in the family, among friends, etc., at the beginning, but two main things happen as you continue. First, people who are enemies of His cross, will constantly persecute you just because you could actually believe such a thing. The constant badgering is enough to shut the mouths of many Christians, making them of less effect to God’s purpose in their life. Second, other people will have so many questions the believer didn’t consider before converting, putting doubt in the believers mind. This causes such a confusion, and the believer sometimes turns to ungodly sources to fulfill his intellectual problems.

Jesus makes it very clear that the gospel, for many unfortunate reasons, will be accepted by many and ultimately rejected by most. He uses an agricultural parable comparing the gospel as a seed to be planted. There are four types of ground this seed will be planted into. The ground is compared to a human heart. Three of those four hearts ultimately reject this gospel even though two openly accepted and received it. One outright rejected and the other received it and multiplied it. This parable is found in Matthew 13.

Lets look at the two that received then rejected this seed:

 

5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.

 

These are the two grounds that readily accepted the seed, but were unable to produce. Here is Jesus’ explanation:

 

20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.

 

So the first ground here decided to barter (or trade) his salvation for the god of conformity. He chose not to allow the gospel to take a firm root within him therefore he allowed those who were the enemy of the gospel to drag him back to where he came out from. A good Church will warn new believers to not let this happen. The Church needs each other. The Church should work as a team, or a body, all willing and ready to use its gifts for the multiplication of God’s Kingdom. Trust me, conformity does not love you enough to die on the cross for you. This is an unfair trade. If you made your confession one day and notice you are right back where you were before the day of your salvation, come back and truly join the Church! We need you!

The second ground decided to trade his salvation for wealth. Maybe he came to Christ through the health and wealth gospel and his eyes quickly turned to the wrong prize. Instead of the prize of eternal life, he focused on gold and silver and found a way to justify his lust for money by finding the scriptures that would back him up. Our greatest wealth is found when we are walking in God’s perfect plan for our life. You can look for all the health and wealth verses you want but any set of verses can easily be taken out of context. Try studying the word of God in with a holistic perspective. Choose to know the whole counsel of God instead of a topical study. But don’t be fooled into trading your salvation for a brand new luxury car to take to church, or a nice house in the nicest neighborhood. Health and wealth don’t love you like Jesus loves you! Drop them before they drop you!

Your salvation is not a tradable commodity. But many people throughout the ages have chosen to put their salvation on the market! Be that good ground that received the seed and multiplied it. Working a garden, or a farm, is not easy. It is hard work. Its thankless work at times. If your Christian walk is not hard, question it! Its better to judge yourself now than be judged as unrighteous by God. Work out your salvation while you have time. Multiply the number of souls that will be living for eternity in heaven! 

Come back to Christ…and be blessed!!!

 

 

 

 

 

PSALM 15: WHO’S IN?

You want to be a citizen of heaven? Would you like to know where you are going to spend eternity? This is an issue many have dealt with through the many centuries humanity has existed. In American society today the typical person seems to hope to go to heaven but doesn’t seem to think they can really know for sure. Fortunately, the bible does give us a clear cut, sure-fire way to know that we know that we will be there.

The New Testament says if we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, and make Him Lord, be baptized, and repent of our sins we will be saved from eternity in hell, and we will spend eternity in heaven! To believe the gospel does not just mean to agree intellectually with it. It actually means to live out the gospel. If you truly believe, and I mean truly, there are changes that will be made in your life. Lets look at Psalm 15:

 

1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.

 

The psalmist (David) was quite close to God. He knew God with a closeness many people will never experience throughout their life, therefore you can consider him a good teacher of the things concerning God. So the question is posed, basically, who can go to heaven, and it follows with a list of characteristics that, I believe, for those who truly believe the gospel of Jesus, will overtake them.

Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Trust me, the gospel has made quite a few shady characters into upright people. Honesty is something we can all agree is lacking in our day. But the gospel will cause a dishonest heart to be open an honest before men.

Righteousness is morally right or justifiable, virtuous. It is living right in the eyes of God, being always aware of His existence, and choosing to please Him rather than men. When you truly believe the gospel of Jesus, righteousness is an important concept. To make right decisions and have good character honors God therefore becomes your lifestyle.

Truth is defined as the true or actual state of a matter. A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like. In a society as intellectually driven as ours, many beliefs are actually either theories or myths that many consider to be truths. The gospel of Jesus Christ will drive one to find the truth. The one who commits his/her life to the gospel must be fully convinced that the gospel is true. Those who have a whimsical faith will probably not endure to the end.

 

3 He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach to his friend, 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord. He swears to his own hurt and does not change. 5 He does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

 

Slander basically means a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report. It is to purposely try and bring another down by talking trash about him. The obvious issue here is the heart of a slanderer is evil in nature. When you truly believe the gospel of Jesus Christ you would rather build up others not tear them down.

Evil is defined as harmful, injurious. To bring harm or injury to your neighbor is something people do that don’t believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Evil is the mind and heart of the devil, the exact opposite mind and heart of Jesus. Those who truly believe the gospel love their neighbors and would stay away from bringing any harm or injury to them.

Reproach is to find fault with. To take up a reproach against your friend means you are looking for fault in him/her. There is enough fault in all humans, we don’t need to going looking to find fault in them. There is definitely something wrong in searching for fault in someone. However, for those who truly believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, they will look for the good characteristics in their friends.

A reprobate is someone who has willfully rejected God and wants to continue in his/her wicked lifestyle. I do believe we need to love our enemies and pray for them hoping and believing for their salvation, so I don’t fully believe this part of the verse is truly valid, based on the words of Jesus Christ Himself. Those who truly believe the gospel of Jesus would rather love for and pray for a reprobate, I believe. I don’t think we can rightfully judge someone who is alive as fully rejecting God since there is always hope as long as he/she has breath. There have been some miracle conversions that many I’m sure had written off before the day of their salvation.

To honor those who fear the Lord is a concept of brotherly love. It is so hard to get through this life as a Christian, that we need to love one another and help one another in our walk with Jesus. It was shown at the beginning of the book of Acts, how they expressed their love towards one another. If you truly believe this great gospel of Jesus Christ, you will honor those who are your brother/sister in Christ.

To swear to your own hurt and do not change I believe means when you make a vow, whether to God or man, no matter how much it hurts you will not waver in your commitment to it. This deals with being a person of your word. A person of his/her word sends a message to those around them. They can trust them. If you truly believe the gospel of Jesus you will become someone who can be trusted, someone who is not afraid to make a commitment no matter how hard it may become and follow through with it.

Putting your money out at interest is taking advantage of someone who has a need. This is bringing pain to someone rather than helping them. Those who truly believe the gospel of Jesus choose to help others, not bring injury to their situation. They become cheerful givers rather than stalkers of gain.

Taking a bribe against the innocent is perverting justice. The guilty do not want to suffer the consequences of their folly so they at times will pay the prosecutor to get out of their sentence. Some cases that need a scapegoat, an innocent person will end up paying the price. This is very ungospel like. This is why a nation needs to have godly men/women in authority. For those in authority who truly believe the gospel of Jesus Christ they will never accept a bribe for any reason, simply because it perverts justice.

 

5 He who does these things will never be shaken.

 

Do you want to have the peace of God which surpasses all understanding? If you truly believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, these characteristics will overtake you. True believe is active. You live out your beliefs. Those who speak one way and live another are not given much credibility.

Bottom line is: If you live your life as a true believer of the gospel of Jesus Christ, your character will change and you will know that heaven is your future eternal home. So believe the gospel and be blessed!

PSALM 14: FOLLY AND WICKEDNESS!!!

I am sometimes amazed at the folly and wickedness of men! I could not understand why, why when a team wins a championship, do the supporters of that team “celebrate” by destroying other peoples property! Why? How does it make sense? I saw on video someone smashing a huge window on the campus of the University of Connecticut after the men won the basketball title. Really? I don’t care how drunk you might be, there has to be some kind of alarm that goes off within someone before going through an act like that! And what about the “shy” 16 year old child who decided to stab 20+ people just as school was about to innocently start just a few days ago. There are countless events going on weekly that can be added to this blog post unfortunately! The psalmist says this:

 

1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds. There is no one who does good.

 

That’s the beginning of such acts right there! When you choose to not believe in God, you feel as if there are no consequences to any bad you do, therefore there is an air of invincibility concerning bad deeds that are committed. Nowadays there is a rehab program for every wrong, so at the very worst, one can just go to rehab for awhile and become a better person. We have become our own counselors now instead of looking to God (since He doesn’t exist in many people’s eyes). Not believing in God leads to a corrupt society!

 

2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.

 

How horrible of a sight it must have been when God looked down from heaven and noticed all of His people had turned away from Him! Even the best people out there, without Jesus, fall far short of His purpose for life. Without Jesus we cannot find our way to please Him. This is His plan, that we believe His gospel, be baptized, and turn from our wicked ways. Wickedness is rampant in society when the majority of it chooses to not believe in Him, because we will end up choosing our own way in life which will end in destruction.

 

4 Do all the workers of wickedness not know, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord?

 

I’m just wondering, how is it that people who destroy other peoples property for really no good reason, not know what they are doing is wicked? How do you not know that taking a knife (or two) in the hallway of a school when there are many people there and stabbing whichever ones are in your path is a wicked thing to do? You see, its simple. Many who choose to not believe in God choose also to separate themselves from reality, giving them the ability to create chaos in society and not fully realizing it until its too late. If you don’t allow the Holy Spirit access to your life, you definitely allow demons to access your life! Many of the horrific acts we witness today are demonic in nature, and that is truly possible through people who don’t call upon the Lord.

 

5 There they are in great dread. For God is with the righteous generation. 6 You would put to shame the counsel of the afflicted, but the Lord is his refuge. 7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.

 

Yes, God is with the righteous generation! God loves righteous deeds. Righteous deeds are done only by people who have chosen to believe in Him! The very thing that separates the righteous deeds of His people versus the good deeds of those who don’t believe in Him is simply the pure motive in the heart. Those who choose to believe His gospel know where He wants them to be therefore doing a righteous deed is for His glory. When He is glorified, people are saved from hell. Salvation accompanies righteous deeds!

Would you choose to believe His gospel today? Have you ever believed His gospel? His gospel simply says that we are all bad, but if we believe that God raised Jesus on the third day after his death on the cross, and make Him our Lord (meaning we live out His words for our life), we need to repent (turn away) from our wicked ways, and be baptized, and we are saved from the ultimate destruction of eternal life in hell. That is how one can stop the wickedness and folly!

 

Wickedness WILL lead you to eternal life in hell, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in heaven, found only in Jesus! Escape the danger today and be blessed!!!

PSALM 13: YOU CAN TRUST IN HIS LOVINGKINDNESS!

We all at some point feel empty. Even Jesus one day felt empty! Emptiness is a gross feeling. Its a feeling that may start out as lonely, or discouraged, or defeated. Its usually a negative emotion that lingers. The reason it lingers is because we allow it to. When we are lead by our flesh, we prefer to look at the bleakest outcome as if it was ours. We think about all the reasons we deserve the negative outcome: we don’t pray enough, we have not read God’s word enough, we don’t serve God enough, etc. That’s how the devil rolls. He rolls in negativity. He loves discouraging people so they become desperate and do something or say something they will regret. Emptiness comes just before desperation. But for those who believe in God, desperation can be intercepted by trusting in God’s lovingkindness! Consider the psalmist:

 

“1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God. Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, 4 and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him’, and my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.”

 

Quite a hopeless picture he paints! It looks like he has been stewing in fear of his enemies for a long time. Have you ever been going through a problem you thought was never going to be resolved? There has to come a point where enough is enough, right? He seemed to have tried everything he could to rid himself of these negative emotions and nothing was working for him. He even tried to counsel himself and it had no effect.

I believe there are times when the faithful are going to be called upon to dig a little deeper to experience God’s grace and mercy. When you first come to believe in Him it may seem easy to access Him, but as your faith grows, God calls us to a deeper level of relationship with Him.  In verse 1, David is asking God, “How long will You hide from me?” I believe David was seeking God before the time he wrote this psalm, but it was possibly a more superficial level of pursuit. I believe, maybe this was a moment that God really wanted to get David to dig deeper within himself and really show His desire to call upon God. And look at the result:

 

“5 But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness. My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

 

Whenever you dig a little deeper in your pursuit of God, faith will arise. Truth will become believable once again. When you wallow in your miserable circumstances truth doesn’t matter to you. Your pain and suffering are all that matter at that time. That’s why its necessary to know God’s word. The truth found in these pages are unlike the truth the world will offer you. The world will tell you everything will be fine, your getting stronger through this, you this, you that, you you you. The world’s truth focuses you on you. But the truth found in the Bible tells you to focus on Him and others. As we focus on Him and others, He will take care of our pain.

Focus on His lovingkindness. You can trust His lovingkindness! His lovingkindness is better than life! His lovingkindness will keep you through the situations you go through, BUT, please use those situations as times to focus on Him! Then you can watch Him work all things for good. He will prove Himself to be faithful. Allow your negative situations to grow your faith in Him! Maturity comes through suffering.

Remember, you can trust in His lovingkindness! Be blessed!

PSALM 12: WATCH YOUR MOUTH

Ah flattery! Flattery is broadly defined as excessive insincere praise in order to push forward one’s own interests. There are two negative points to this concept: insincere usually means lying, and one’s own interests shows selfishness. Flattery is not favorable in God’s eyes. Jesus says we should let our yes be yes and our no be no. What He is saying here is we should let our intentions be known outright rather that masking them through insincere compliments. To compliment someone is not bad but when there is a personal agenda that is not being known by the recipient of the compliment, that is when its insincere, or, dishonest. So, the psalmist says,

 

“1 Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases to be. For the faithful disappear from among the sons of man. 2 They speak falsehood to one another. With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. 3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things. 4 Who have said, ‘With our tongue we will prevail. Our lips are our own, who is lord over us?”

 

You see, flattery is a good sign of not being faithful to God. In verse one, the term “the faithful” is speaking of those who believe in God and have chosen to live for Him. Jesus makes it clear throughout the Gospels that many will start out strong but will not remain and gives many reasons for their defection. In these four verses here there are three ungodly characteristics that “the faithful” do not live out: lying lips (falsehood), selfishness (flattering lips), and a double heart.

Lying lips and selfishness should be easy to detect if you believe in Jesus and spend some time in the Bible and spend time in church and prayer. But a double heart is not always understood by many. It can be summed up this way: If you are not fully committed to doing God’s work while your here on earth, but you do claim to believe in Jesus, go to church, pray, and read your bible, you have a heart that has two agendas, hence, a double heart. Jesus expects such a strong commitment from those who claim Him as their Lord. There is a war being waged on a daily basis, minute to minute basis even. Jesus needs people who are in a serious commitment to His work.

“The faithful” are so committed to Jesus agenda that lying lips and flattering lips have left them. They are so committed that they now have one agenda, one commitment in their life, one purpose. A double heart is not found in them. In fact, you can probably hear about “the faithful” through the unfaithful because the unfaithful know who are “the faithful.” They make their agenda known to all with grace and mercy. They may be hated for their views on many issues in life, but they are respected because everyone knows where they stand.

However, those who choose to live with lying lips and flattering lips cause destruction among society. Their destruction usually affects those who are afflicted. People who use flattery are not just selfish but usually also they are arrogant. Verse four makes it clear just how arrogant they become! They actually believe they can say whatever they want with no consequences to follow! They are blinded by their own arrogance. But there is a point where God will show up and have to move on behalf of those who are afflicted.

Bottom line is this: If you are a Christian and you are struggling with these ungodly characteristics, commit yourself to God’s purposes. Don’t just go to church on Sunday morning and Wednesday night! Commit yourself to His work and these characteristics will have no hold on you! And your double heart will become single. Jesus wants those with sole commitment to Him.

 

Become one of “the faithful” and be greatly blessed!

PSALM 11: THATS MY BOY!!!

Have you ever been so proud of your child, you belted out the title phrase to this post? Have you ever been so proud you almost felt you were bragging to others about your child? Its a beautiful thing when we can feel so elated with our children’s accomplishments that we cannot contain our joy! Imagine how that joy affects your child? Have you ever heard your parent put you in a similar spotlight? I’m sure the excitement is reciprocal. The bottom line is, when a child does something that makes the parents proud, people hear about it!

Whether we believe this or not, we are all created by our heavenly Father, who is the Lord. There have been times throughout human history where God was that bragging Father I just illustrated above. If you have a bible, go to Job ch 1, ver 1, 6, & 8.

 

“1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. And that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan also came among them. 8 The Lord said to satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

 

God was a proud Poppa looking down on Job! Can you imagine hearing such a testimony from the Lord Himself upon your life? There is a way that we too can make our heavenly Father so happy He wants to tell others of us! Look at Psalm 11: 5-7,

 

“5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6 Upon the wicked He will rain snares. Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness. The upright will behold His face”

 

So here is your outline for making your heavenly Poppa proud! Notice first of all that He tests both, the good and the bad. For those who come through the test and love violence, those are the people that are against God. The best way to describe this concept is found in the movie The Bronx Tale. For anyone who has seen that movie, Robert DeNiro played a great father who was teaching his child to be a good, hard-working, honest, upstanding citizen. At some point early in the child’s life, a mob man who made his living in a violent way, befriended this child and affected this child from the beginning. He had a lot of money, something his father never had so the child kept the mob man in his life throughout.

This is roughly what has happened in the Spirit realm. God made us in His image. At our very core, we have many of God’s characteristics within us. But the mob man (satan) has come along and showed us some things God did not want to give us, but that we feel we want to keep anyways. The problem is satan is full of violence. The child in The Bronx Tale found out later that his father was right and was always giving him good advice. The mob man was killed violently right in front of the child now turned young adult.

God hates those who love violence because they show that they prefer to live the way satan would have them live rather than the way He would have them live. He has given us plenty of witness throughout our lives and we are responsible for our choices based on that fact. God created hell for the devil and his angels, and any human who chooses his ways will end up with him in hell.

The other side to this obviously is that God is righteous, and He loves righteous deeds! Anyone willing to live their life in righteousness (as Job did), will be the toast of heaven! He will make a show of you, in time of course, in order to make a show of Himself! He wants us to bring Him glory and fame so others would hear of Him and come to know Him, ultimately saving their soul from hell!

There is a cosmic war we find ourselves in the middle of, but we need to be on the side of righteousness so we can win some souls for Him! The great promise we have is that if we live our life in righteousness we will behold His face. What a picture that will be, when we see His brilliantly shining face! Imagine that!

The difference between heaven and hell is extreme.  Our life here on earth will prove that out. If you choose to allow satans character to show through you until your death, fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of your cup. However, if you want to change the direction your heading in, and make your Poppa proud, and live an upright life before Him, do so now!

Thank God for this moment! Get into your bible, pray to Him, learn from Him! Go to a local church and befriend the brothers and sisters there and serve there. God will lead you where He wants you to go. Go and be blessed!

 

PSALM 10: WICKED

Its really sad when you think about it. The state of where we find ourselves is atrocious. I truly can’t find the proper word to describe the human race, a word that sums up the depth of our grossness but also taking into account the hope that still lies within each individual. The violent nature of 21st century humanity shows just how far away from God we have gone.

 

“2 In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted. Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.”

 

Think about just how the wicked pursue the afflicted. Think about how drug dealers pursue those who are addicted to their drugs. The drug dealers are driving pimped out cars, living in nice homes, wearing jewelry while their afflicted are living in alleys, boxes, shelters, ready to steal anything to get enough money to go to the dealer who is driving the Lexus, who carelessly makes the exchange so the afflicted can feel thirty seconds of exhiliration. That’s the afflicted’s lifestyle. The dealer is heartless towards his customers. Heartless! You may be happy when you hear of a dealer being busted with a lot of drugs and he gets sentenced to prison time. Its good he is off the streets, but what about those afflicted. They are so caught up they will find another Lexus to buy from. They are stuck in their affliction, while the dealers out there are plotting their demise.

 

“3 For the wicked boasts of his hearts desire, and the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.”

 

Wickedness begins with selfishness. When all you care about is you and yours you are wicked. When all you think about is you and yours you forget about God. Your mind gets consumed with your plans at the expense of those around you who need your help. Your plan becomes so supreme in your mind that helping people comes after you take care of your plans and many times there is not enough to help others. Its the life of selfishness. Its the heart of wickedness.

 

“4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.'”

 

Not only do selfish people forget God, but the progression leads people to believe eventually that there is no God. Selfish people come to a place of self sufficiency, to a place where they can make it on their own (or so they believe). This is how a society becomes as atrocious as we have become. This is how people kill innocent people just because. This is why drug dealers and addicts both exist. One is trying to get rich and live the good life, the other is trying to escape his/her problems by disconnecting with reality even if its for a few moments and it ends up becoming a lifestyle choice he is stuck with, at least for awhile.

This is how all sorts of sin becomes rampant in society, and not just rampant, but even looked up to. So many sins especially in America are no longer sins in our society! We have left our true path. The path we were meant to walk down has become so blurred people cant seem to find it.

But, alas, for those who want to find it, it shall be found! God is there for those who are humble enough to believe He exists. For those who know they have been left out on a shaky limb to fall and die, for those who have been sought after by the wicked and fallen to their trap but they want out, there is a way out! God is a God of grace and mercy, for those who come to Him. Are you beaten down? It doesn’t have to be drugs or alcohol. You could be beaten down by financial trouble. You could be beaten down by physical illness. God knows what affliction you are suffering from. Come to Him in prayer. He will answer you. Then believe His gospel. Believe Jesus will rescue you from your sins. Get into His Word and He will have you back on the right path.

 

God bless!

PSALM 9: ITS A SURE THING!

The psalmist says,

“But the Lord abides forever.” Psalm 9: 7

This is as sure a statement you will ever hear. There is no could abide, should abide, or might abide forever. He does abide forever. According to my reference bible I use it could also be translated as, the Lord sits as King forever. There is no more of a sure thing in this life as the eternal existence of God. I’m not a betting man but if I was to place a bet on this point I would be taking people’s money as easy as taking candy from a baby.

“He has established His throne for judgment, 8 and He will judge the world in righteousness. He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.”

 

The Lord is a fair and just God. We see a lot of injustice in the world in all nations in all generations. But there is a day appointed to all people where we will have to stand before God. If you have placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be spared the ultimate punishment of eternity away from God, which is an eternal existence in hell. God’s justice takes into account His grace and mercy which He shows us.

Have you ever been shown mercy by a judge before? Sometimes its so unexpected, but what do you do with that mercy? Do you go back out and do what brought you before the judge, or do you sober up immediately since you were given a new lease on life? If you are one who believes in Jesus Christ, and you have made Him Lord of your life, its time to sober up and live your life for Him. God is a just God and He judges in righteousness. Knowing this should cause all those who believe in Him to be sober minded, choosing to do whats right now instead of wrong.

“9 The Lord will also be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”

Just a little note here: Those who make Jesus Christ their Lord are gonna need this promise. You will most likely feel oppression from someone or some people for living your life for Jesus. But the promise is that God will be a stronghold, a refuge, a mighty tower that you can run to and receive grace, mercy, refreshment, protection, whatever you need for the moment. Jesus does say He will never leave you nor forsake you. If you have taken on His work, He will reward you accordingly. But oppression is a guarantee for all those who choose to live a godly life.

“10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

Do you know His name? Do you know Jesus? Put your trust in Him. He will come through. As you seek to know Him, as you read through His word, as you spend time in prayer and do His work, He will put you in situations where your trust in Him will be tested. Trust Him. There are numerous times, Old Testament and New Testament, where He has proven Himself. With such a great cloud of witnesses we should have a great confidence in Him. Become part of the cloud of witnesses by trusting in Him and watching Him come through for you. Then you can share your story with others and they can feed off of your trust in Him!

Remember, He does abide forever. His Word (the Bible) can be fully trusted, forever. His promises can be believed on, forever. Its a sure thing to believe in Him, forever. Place your life in His hands, forever. And be blessed, FOREVER!

 

PSALM 8: WHO AM I???

Has that question ever crossed your mind? Have you ever been blown away while considering the vastness of the universe? The earth? Humanity??? Many don’t have time to consider these deep concepts because their mind is too busy thinking of other things of much less importance. One of the fundamentally important questions of mankind should be asked by all: Who am I? We learn through 12 years of public schooling that we basically came to be by accident. That through some still unknown scientifically unexplainable event we started and through billions of years of transformation we finally became who we are today. A mere accident! We are given homework, research papers, and tested on this myth for these 12 years to try and convince us its true, but the truth is we were created. By God!

The Psalmist, who was a very deep thinker, considers this:

3 When I consider Your heavens the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained. 4 What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty. 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands. You have put all things under his feet.

Now those are some deep thoughts. When we choose to break through the mundane everyday distractions that absorb our minds, we realize how little sense evolution makes, and we realize there must be Someone behind our existence! God put so much effort into our existence and we come up with some theory that kind of maybe possibly make sense even though there are more flaws in this theory than just believing in God Himself!

Ok, so once we believe we are created, now to just think about the One who created us! Wow! He must be quite the creative type. Consider the very planet we live on, and how it is perfectly situated, not too far from the sun otherwise we couldn’t handle the cold air, but also not too close to the sun otherwise we couldn’t handle the heat! Look at all the lights in the sky the bigger one by day so we can see and the lesser ones by night so we can know times and seasons, etc. Look how perfect the eco system works together with the many different species of plants that all seem to have their own purpose. And the animal kingdom, with all the different kinds and species, living amongst each other in harmony within its own environment.

Then He crowned His creation with humanity, which He made in His own image. We were made with many of God’s characteristics, imagine that! Characteristics such as: the ability to unconditionally love others, the ability to choose what we want to do and where we want to go, purpose, vision, just to name a few! The psalmist says, He has made us to rule over the works of His hands! This is our Creator! This is why He is worthy to be glorified and honored with our very life!

And we honor Him by coming up with a half thought out theory that says we are accidently put on earth through the cause of some unknowable explosion that just happened to come about in a way we can’t really figure out yet but we are working on it! Really people? We sure can do better than this! Believe in Him, and praise Him, and worship Him! Give Him your life! He died for you, so live for Him!

 

Be blessed