Tag Archives: David

I Can’t Wait

I Can’t Wait!

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.  Psalm 39:7

You have said it.  You have thought it.  Any young person you have near you has also said it – “I Can’t Wait!”  We can get excited over many things in life.  Looking forward with expectations of good things is natural.

“I can’t wait to see if the Yankees win.”  “I can’t wait for the basketball season to start.” “I can’t wait until the medicine or treatment helps me to feel better.”  “I can’t wait until school is out.”  “I can’t wait until our wedding day!”  “I Can’t wait until I see Jesus.” Or my favorite: “I can’t wait until…. dinner!”   These are common examples.

Make you own “I can’t wait” statement:  I can’t wait _____ _______ ________.

What if we changed our thinking and our perspective a little bit?  Instead of focusing on an event, situation, or outcome, what if we placed our expectation in a person?  Not a spouse (or fiancée). Not a promotion, start of a season, or outcome of a game.  What if our expectation was in Jesus?

In the 13 short verses of Psalm 39, David portrays his need for the Lord.  He declares that his hope is in the Lord.  He mentions controlling his tongue, sorrow, anger, his physical frailty, the vanity of most men, deliverance from evil, the judgment of God, praying to the Lord, and recovering strength in moments of weakness.  He covers a lot of topics in this short chapter!  Right in the middle, in verse 7 he says: “What wait I for?”  It is a good question!  If our hope, expectation, satisfaction and fulfillment is completed in Jesus, what are we really looking forward to in life?  What more can a Christian have if Jesus is truly his “All in All.”

I believe that we should have healthy expectations.  We should be looking ahead and be forward thinking in our mind.  At the same time, while we are looking forward to events and outcomes, we must realize that true fulfillment, peace, and satisfaction does not come from the Yankees winning.  Real satisfaction is not found in relationship, events, or outcomes – but in Christ.

This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote in Colossians 2:10: “And ye are complete in him…”  While the “I can’t wait” things may be good, Jesus is the best.  What more can we find in life if we do not place our hope in Jesus and Jesus alone?  The answer is nothing.  Without Jesus at the center of our life, decisions, and personal satisfaction for living, we will not find true purpose or meaning for life.

The next time you say: “I can’t wait…” look ahead to Jesus for a moment and remind yourself how He is the ultimate goal we are looking for.  Find your fulfillment and completion in Him.

 

 

 

 

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Understanding God

Understanding God

There are some things that happen in life that we will never understand.  There are some events that God orchestrates or allows in our lives that are beyond our human comprehension and understanding.  That’s OK.  If we could understand everything about God then He would be minimized and we as humans would be elevated like God.  That would be the religion of humanism. We all fall far short of the Lord.

We have legitimate questions:

  • Why did the loved one develop cancer?
  • Why is it that you have a debilitating sickness?
  • What will you do now that a family member has died?
  • Where will I find another job?
  • Who do I turn to when relationships are strained?
  • What happened to my kid?
  • Why are there so many problems in the world?
  • Another car wreck? Really?

Job was accused and assaulted by Satan himself.  If you read Job chapters 1-2 you will find that if there was a way to suffer in life and still not die – Job suffered it.

  • Job’s oxen company was stolen by a neighboring tribe of people.
  • Job’s wool business with 7000 sheep was shut down when lightening (fire from heaven) struck, killing them instantaneously.
  • Job’s transportation enterprise with 3000 camels was closed when the camels were “carried away” by thieves.
  • Job’s 7 sons and 3 daughters were celebrating a party in one of the sons houses when a storm came knocking down the walls and killing Job’s entire family.
  • On top of the family businesses and the family dying, Job comes down with a devastating illness. His body is covered with boils from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head.  The boils ooze and he scrapes them with sharp shards of pottery while applying fire ashes to his wounds. He aches with burning pain from the inside out.  He cannot sleep at night.  He loses weight and his cloths wrap up around his body.  His condition is so bad that when friends come to see him – they cannot recognize him.
  • This pain is suffered for about 12 months. An. Entire. Year.

The young friend, Elihu, suggests in his last speech to Job that man cannot “comprehend” God.  He says in Job 37:5 “God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.”

Very true.  All the bad things that we see, feel, and endure in life are much bigger than us. We need the Lord – even when we do not understand.  Romans 8:28 assures: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

If we cannot understand the Lord in the “bad times” what about the “good times?”

David writes in Psalm 40:5 and declares: “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”  

David was also no stranger to tragedy.  In this Psalm, we see him trying to count the blessings God placed on his life.  We cannot count all the blessings, but we should try.  David could not stop talking about the “wonderful works” of God.

We will still not be able to fully comprehend “why” or “how” it is that God would choose to bless us.  We do not deserve grace, goodness, or the love of God.  Go figure that.  We cannot explain the Lord!!!  Just be thankful for Who God is and what He has done in both “good” times and “bad” times.

Counting the blessings helps us in several ways.

  • Counting blessings removes our eyes from being fixated on our problems and to refocus our gaze upon the Lord.
  • Counting blessings reaffirms in our mind God’s love for us.
  • Counting blessings realigns our perspective to be thankful.
  • Counting blessings helps us realize how great, big, incredible, wonderful, amazing, loving, giving, and awesome our God is.

We will not fully comprehend all that God says, does, or allows in life.  That’s ok.  Let God be God in your life.  His way is perfect – even when we do not understand.

 

 

 

 

 

“Prayer” in Psalms

“Prayer” in the Book of Psalms

31 times in the Book of Psalms is the word “Prayer” found.  That is enough times to read a new verse about “prayer” every day for a month! Sometimes it is found in the chapter heading.  At other times it is in the text of the psalm.  As you read through these words of Scripture today – take time to pray.  Let’s seek the God of the Bible in a personal way and bring the requests and desires of our hearts to Him.  The needs of this hour are great – and we have a great God Who can hear our calling to Him in prayer.

Blessings to you in these moments of prayer…

  • Psalm 4:1  <<To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David.>> Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
  • 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
  • 6:9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
  • 17:1  <<A Prayer of David.>> Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
  • 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
  • 39:12 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
  • 42:8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
  • 54:2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
  • 55:1  <<To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.>> Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
  • 61:1  <<To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.>> Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
  • 64:1  <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
  • 65:2 O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
  • 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
  • 66:20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
  • 69:13  But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
  • 72:15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.
  • 80:4 O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
  • 84:8  O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
  • 86:1  <<A Prayer of David.>> Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
  • 86:6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
  • 88:2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
  • 88:13 But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
  • 90:1  <<A Prayer of Moses the man of God.>> Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
  • 102:1 <<A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.>> Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.
  • 102:17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
  • 109:4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
  • 109:7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
  • 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
  • 141:5  Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
  • 142:1 <<Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.>> I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
  • 143:1  <<A Psalm of David.>> Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.

Selah…

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer, Principle, and Participation

Prayer, Principle, and Participation

The Lord has given America’s people a unique opportunity in the electoral system.  Many people throughout history have not had a say as to who would be in authority.  Elections are a tremendous responsibility the Lord has given.  Participation in each primary and election is good stewardship of this unique opportunity.

The Bible has much to say about government.  Observe:

  • Ecclesiastes 10:20 “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”
  • Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
  • Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

The Constitution of the United States established this nation with a republic form of government.  Article IV, Section 4. states: “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government.”  Even our pledge declares:  “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all.”

Republic – is defined by Encarta as a “political system with elected representatives.”  The representatives take the needs and issues of those they represent and enact legislation, justice, and safety to be established.  The representatives are not to be padding their wallets – they are benefiting the people they serve.  Individual people vote for the persons or platform most likely to represent some of their values, positions, and understandings.

Democracy – is defined by Encarta as “free and equal representation of people.”  Democracy is what these United States are trending toward.  When each individual voice is heard louder than the representative’s voice, we tend to get a “mob rule” mentality.  The people shouting the loudest tend to drown out the rest and instead of a larger portion of society being protected and represented, individual rights trump what is collectively best.  This shift in thinking away from the Constitution could be a contributor to the mass protests, and social re-engineering that is taking place.

Many people today have an expectation of society and government that is different than what the Republic offers.  The fragmentation of America is seen in responses to the National Anthem protests from “professionals” all the way down to high school athletes.  There is a globalism goal as people today marginalize the America we have learned of in history.

One of our early Presidents, John Adams aptly stated:  “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  This is a keen observation that is extremely relevant today.  In fact – we see this playing out in the news every day.  The majority of our nation has shifted away from Bible principles.  Because the fabric of America has shifted so drastically, we are seeing horrendous policy, detrimental games with the political electoral system, and much abuse of “power.”

I hope we have another election in 4 years.  If Jesus has not returned for believers by then, we may or may not have an election like we have grown accustomed to and may even take for granted.  This is why I am writing about participation today.

We have always been able to vote for the “lesser of two evils.”  Jesus has never been on a ballot.  If you think like me, the top of the ticket has people that I do not really like or approve of.  However there is much more at stake than liking the top of the ticket.  My feelings about individual candidates may not be the best way to make a decision.  I am choosing to vote based on future policy, not current personalities.

Perhaps it’s for the best that elections not be decided by our feelings.  The media is very successful at sensationalizing the candidates and causing secondary issues to be at the forefront of the conversation.  I challenge you to dig deeper.  See the facts and positions.  Avoid voting based on how you may feel.

Here are several factors that I am considering and hope you will prayerfully consider as well.  The first factor is on a personal level.  The second two factors are on a policy level.

For No Alcohol:  Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.  Leaders must be especially careful to not be inebriated because they may be called upon for lifesaving measures at any given moment.  If a candidate is known as being a drunk or “tipsy” I choose to avoid that candidate.

Think of Daniel and Belshazzar in Daniel chapter 5.  Being consumed with alcohol leaves no room for good decision making.  That is why the police arrest drunk drivers.  Inebriated drivers place themselves and others in danger.

For Life, Not Death:  Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”  Psalm 139:13-14 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  Life is a gift from God.  Conception is a blessing the Lord gives a man and a woman.  It is a shame when children are viewed as an inconvenience and disregarded as garbage.  Some people treat their dogs and cats with more dignity than they treat the unborn.  The innocent unborn babies need a leader to cherish them.

The elderly can also become vulnerable.  They need a leader to ensure their lives are valued as well.  There could be a day – very soon, when health care is rationed out and the elderly are left to fend for themselves or die.  They need an advocate who values life.

For Nationalism, Not Globalism:  This is more evident each day as the Election Day approaches.  My prayer is “Even so come Lord Jesus” like John wrote in Revelation.  It is true that when the Tribulation begins, Antichrist will be revealed and he will consolidate all the countries, militaries, economies, religion, and more, into a One World Order.  Following the Rapture, the nations of earth will be ready for a United World.  I am not suggesting that we can stop or even slow down prophetical events.  I am suggesting that helping Antichrist today is not something that I am interested in.

The proposition of globalism is older than the Book of Genesis.  Nimrod consolidated the people of the world in order to control them and make himself their leader.  Following the global flood (Noah and his family survived on the Ark) God told the people to scatter the globe and repopulate the earth.  Nimrod rebelled and forced the people to live and serve him in Babel.  The Tower of Babel is the result.  This tall wonder stretched into the sky as man’s attempt to reach into the heavens and become a god.  The Lord put down the first attempt at a One World Order.  Read about it in Genesis 11.  Globalism is rooted in humanism.

This is already taking shape with carbon taxes, health care, surveillance, education mandates, and trade agreements.  I even heard on the news last week a USA military general say that he was willing to fight with Russia because the Russians are not wanting to assimilate with the rest of the world.  More laws, more central government, more dominions and greater rule of individual leaders are not the real need today.  As the government grows larger so does its control of the people.  As government widens it becomes more authoritarian; especially of ideas and movements leaders may perceive as a threat to their power.  The real need of the hour is more God – not more government.

Both the life issue and the nationalism issue will be greatly impacted by the Presidential appointees to the Unites States Supreme Court.  These issues will swing to either more death and more globalism or more life and more nationalism based on how many honorable judges will be appointed.  Have you seen the judges lately?  It is possible that nearly 3 could be replaced in the next 4 years.  Check each presidential candidates proposals as to whom they would nominate to this lifetime position if elected.

No candidate has ever been or ever will be a perfect choice.  The platforms may not be much better either.  Be sure to notice however the stark contrasts in each platform on these important issues.  You may not find agreement on many other issues, but the issues listed above are a great considerations as you plan to participate in this election cycle.  Listed below are some website to help you with the platforms.

PLEASE REMEMBER:  No matter who wins the election this year, the Lord is still God. Proverbs 21:1 encourages us by saying:  “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” 

We probably would not have voted for David, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, or Pharaoh (Study their lives and policies to see what I mean), but God put them in their respective governments to fulfill His will.

Pray for mercy on this nation – then participate in the election.  Voting is stewardship of opportunity.

Below are several sites that offer articles and voting guides based on facts and not on how we feel.  I hope they will help you as you decide to cast your vote this year.

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.