Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sunrises & Sunsets

Sunrises & Sunsets

They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.  Psalm 65:8

We love the mountains; from the Appalachian mountain range, and the Catskills in New York, to the Rockies in the West, the mountains God gave the USA are majestic.  Other nations have majestic mountain ranges as well with terrific scenes such as the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

We also love the waves of the ocean.  Have you ever fought with a wave while on a boat?  Has a wave ever tipped your boat over?  Waves are powerful.  During storms along the coast, many people would testify to the great power of the waves.  “It is said that from about 500 BC to 1967, there were 286 instances of devastating tsunami or tidal waves. The highest recorded tsunami was off Valdez, Alaska, after the great Prince William Sound earthquake of 1964. That giant went up to 200 feet high.” (Signs of the Times)  Waves can be devastatingly powerful.  The largest wave ever recorded was on July 9, 1958 in Alaska’s Lituya Bay.  The wave reached elevations as high as 1720 feet!  (geology.com)

As David is inspired of the Lord to pen Psalm 65, he begins by declaring that he wants to “pay his vows” to the Lord.  David is a man of his word and he wants to praise the Lord with his faithful actions.  He goes on to describe how the Lord will deliver him from evil people.  He states that blessing comes from the Lord and that salvation is from God.  He portrays the Lord as the one Who formed all the large mountains and Who is in charge of all the seas, the massive waves, and even the people of the earth.  The Lord is worthy to be praised in our daily lives!  In the rest of the passage, David, tells of the Lord’s work in the fields of agriculture, meteorology, and geology.  All the while, the people are to shout and sing for joy!

In verse 8, David speaks about the people of the earth fearing the Lord because of His “tokens.”   This word “token” has to do with evidence and signs.  As David was looking around him, he saw the evidence of the God who loves, cares, and created the earth.  This is Who the God of the Bible is.  We must recognize the Lord for Who His is, His power, and His might.  The Lord is to be respected and we should stand in “awe” of Him.  His majesty is evident in the mountains and His power is clear as we see the waves of the sea.  Both are too great for us as humans, but very small to the Lord.

David then describes the outgoings of the morning and the outgoings of the evening.  He says that they are caused to rejoice by the Lord.  The Sunset and the Sunrise are an expression of the rejoicing of the Lord in His creation and His world.  What a wonderful Lord we have!  Every time you see the sun go up or the sun go down – be reminded to rejoice in the Lord.  Praise His name.

This offers us an opportunity to praise the Lord every day.  No matter what is happening in your life or mine, we can praise the Lord in the morning and in the evening.   Get near a window or go outside for a while in the morning or the evening.  Look up and see the “heavens” declaring the glory of God in the sunrise and sunset.

Could we make it a practice to meet with the Lord in both AM and PM to pause and praise Him for something He has done or is doing in our lives?  In the next several weeks our church is conducting what we are calling “20 Days of Praise.”  Each day, we are starting the morning with the Lord and His Word.  We are considering something that the Lord can be praised for from Scripture then writing it down on paper.  This will set a tone of praising the Lord for the rest of our day.  Then, as the day rounds out and the sun goes down, we are meeting with the Lord again and giving thanks for something that He did in our lives throughout that day.

You can join us in the “20 Days of Praise” campaign.  If we are consistent with this, it will become a lifestyle pattern of being thankful, having proper respect, and praising the Lord in each and every day He gives.

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A Costly Excuse

A Costly Excuse

Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

Years ago, I served alongside a Godly deacon who would frequently say: “Everyone has an excuse – what’s yours?”  Many times we can offer up weak reasons for not doing the right thing.  Excuses have cost men their families, workers, their jobs, and Christians their faithful service to the Lord.  In fact, some people are not in Heaven today because they offered an excuse as to why not accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

In Acts 24, we find Paul under a type of house arrest. He is permitted visitors and is able to move around in his home. A guard is with him at all times. We know Paul became a great witness to those who were given the task of guarding this “prisoner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!” Felix is the Roman Governor of Judea. In the verse above, He brings Paul to his governmental hall and allows for him to plead his case. He lets Paul expound on the faith in Christ that Paul is so willing to be persecuted for.

As the story unfolds we find that Felix really wants to let Paul go – only if he receives a large sum of money in the form of a bribe. That of course does not happen. Was Felix only interested in the money he thought he could possibly get – or was he moved by the message of Paul? Many times we read over the verse above and look at how Felix wants a bribe in verse 26, but verse 25 makes it clear – the message Paul spoke was working in Felix’s life!  Notice: “as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Felix trembled.  What Paul was saying was the truth and the truth started to convict Felix of his need of salvation! Wow – what a moment – Paul may have thought that Felix was about to be saved and then….

Then Felix offers an excuse. Any excuse is costly when we reject God’s truth. Felix was rejecting God’s Word, Jesus the Savior, and the Servant of the Lord. He suddenly says, “it is not convenient for me to listen to you anymore.” What happened? When Felix was confronted with the truth, he was convicted and made a choice to “Excuse” himself from the facts of the message that Paul was proclaiming.

If you are not sure about your eternity – STOP – consider, listen to the message of the Lord.  God loves you so much, He gave His Son to die on the cross for your sins.  You can be forgiven because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  The blood of Jesus was shed so we could be forgiven and given a home in Heaven.  Don’t make an excuse – trust the Lord Jesus to forgive and save your soul.  Place your faith in Jesus alone for your salvation.  Any excuse will be a sorry and sad excuse in eternity.

Christians, let’s not make excuses – when we hear the Lord speaking to our hearts – let’s respond the right way. Let’s not obey the Lord only when it is “convenient” to do so. Any excuse for obeying the Lord is a costly excuse when we stand before him one day!