Tag Archives: meditate

How to be Sagacious in a Topsy Turvy World

bible study 2tim3Genesis 3 -5  Have you a constant struggle with the adversary Satan?  It may be 2019 and our new year like newly fallen snow looks beautiful but if you look beneath you will see all of the dirt and grime that is hidden from sight. Truthfully, today like any other day is just like that dirt and grime and with ups and downs which began so very long ago all because our first parents were not being sagacious (prudent, discerning) before the serpent or as we might call him, the Devil and the devil he is!  Jesus told us that we are to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Believer, the wisdom that the serpent has may seem mind-boggling but is not omniscient because it lacks the fear of God. It is as James tells us earthly, natural, demonic. It seeks to glorify self, not God and to deny the penalty for self-gain and self-aggrandizement. Satan has one goal: to take back what he thought was rightfully his because deep down he believes the bumper sticker: “The one with the most toys wins.” His first encounter with these newly created beings of man and woman was with great shrewdness:  “Is it really true?” causing Eve to doubt. James warns us of this when he said: “he who doubts is like the wave of the sea blown and tossed about with the wind.”

Every day we face the seeds planted in that garden. But not all is lost for God’s grace and mercy provided the redemption that Adam and Eve needed and He does the same for us as well. He does that because He is not willing any should perish but all come to repentance.

Are you facing what seems a constant struggle?

Do you have your armor on? Go read Ephesians 6 about the armor if you have no idea what that means. 

Start the new year right by meditating on the Word of God and hiding it in your heart so you are ready to give an answer to the adversary. He may question but God’s Word has the answers!

 

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How to Love Thy Neighbor….

Discipline is hard for parents and for children but this keeps both accountable and keeps the family living peacefully with one another. Paul has been acting as the parent to these precious Galatian babes in Christ who are dividing the gal 5 and 6 love neighborf2Galatian church by their childish actions of snapping and arguing and had fallen for the bait of the “Thou Shalt be Circumcised and Obey the Mosaic Law” legalists. Paul asks those who had had not swallowed their bait to take on a mighty task of restoring gently those who were the back biters, devourers and provokers so that the church is once again united in Christ.

However, before they or anyone takes on this task there is are two steps that must be adhered to: “First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” And secondly, be living by the law of Christ which means living out the character of Christ step by step. Both of these require self-examination so as not to be self-deceived and quench and grieve the Holy Spirit. The only thing that mattered was: faith working through love and demonstrating that one is a new creation in Christ. This is how you love your neighbor as yourself.

Are we mature enough in the Lord to do this? This can only happen by immersing oneself in the Word, meditating upon it so you can discern truth from error. Only then can one bear the burdens another carries.

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The Power of Words

Titus 2 speak T.H.I.N.K.2According to statistical studies women speak far more than men. In fact a study revealed that women speak an average of 20,000 words while men only speak 7000 words in a day. Paul encouraged Titus to “speak (to older men, to older women, to younger men and bondslaves) the things fitting for sound doctrine…speak and exhort and reprove with all authority” This is appropriate for us as well for we are to be about sharing the gospel message of the one who “redeemed us from every lawless deed to purify for Himself” a people for Himself.

As we speak do we speak with all authority? Both Moses and Jeremiah were aware of their weakness in this area: “Oh, Lord God, I really do not know how to speak well enough” God reminded them both:  “Who gave a mouth to man, or who makes a person mute or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” [Exo 4:11] God reached out and touched the mouth of both that they would have the words to speak for Him. The psalmist wrote: “My mouth will speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart will be understanding” which only can come when we take time to meditate upon His Word and as Paul told the Philippians to “think about whatever is true, respectful, just, pure, lovely, commendable” and to “practice” it moment by moment. [Phil 4]

May this be our prayer today  “You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it would give grace to those who hear. “[Eph 4:29]

“God’s Recipe for Fudge”

ImageHave you ever read a verse of scripture, closed the Book and walked away and said, what did I just read or what does all of this mean to me practically? To illustrate, think of making fudge. You cook it and wait for it to “fudge” but it just remains gooey and seems to be more liquid than fudge. But then all of a sudden it turns into that delicious fudge and you walk away thinking, that is how fudge should be. I see now the patience in waiting for it to ‘fudge.’ That is how reading scripture seems at times. You read it, ponder and meditate upon it; but if you let it sit awhile it turns into “fudge” that you can eat and devour with abandon.

Psalm 39/40 are like that fudge in many ways. Where does one start? What is the lesson we are to glean? More importantly, what is the practical application that one can put into usage right now?

Here’s some ingredients for our ‘fudge’ from Psalm 39/40.

  • a cup of understanding the mortality and brevity of life
  • a cup of seeing life from an eternal perspective
  • a measure of total dependency upon God
  • an overabundance of God’s mercy

Mix together and then you have your fudge: “a reason to sing a new song, praising our God; courage to tell about His justice, His reliability and deliverance before the assembly”

 Is this your recipe for successful Christian living or are you like the psalmist who has to admit that one ingredient causes your ‘fudge’ to not ‘fudge’ “My sins overtake me …my strength fails me.” Just as a wrong ingredient may cause a recipe to fail, so sin causes us to fail to have that new song and the new message of His redemptive work. Peter saw his sin and his strength failed at a critical moment, but when he was restored he had a new song, and courage before the religious leaders.

So how’s your fudge coming along? Have you all the right ingredients? Take time today to ponder these thoughts.

 

 

Lord I am Awake!

ImageAre you a persistent prayer warrior? These three psalms give us a clue as to what that entails. Persistent prayer begins in the wee hours of the morning. King David  began each morning this way and ended it as well. ““In the morning.” This is the fittest time for intercourse with God. An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening. While the dew is on the grass, let grace drop upon the soul. Let us give to God the mornings of our days and the morning of our lives. Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night. Devotion should be both the morning star and the evening star.” [Spurgeon]

Persistent prayer closes our day and offers a time to reflect, a time to meditate, a time to contemplate as we close our eyelids. This child’s prayer is as simple as it gets:

“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.” 

 

There is comfort in that prayer and perhaps that is why children like King David can say: 3:5 “I rested and slept; I awoke, for the Lord protects me.” 4:8 “I will lie down and sleep peacefully, for you, Lord, make me safe and secure.”

We could change some of this to a simple prayer to begin our day taking ideas from these psalms and psalm 1:

Now Lord I am awake!
I pray that my righteousness I will not forsake,
Guide me step by step to glorify You,
In all I say and in all I do. Amen 

 

Are you awake and refreshed? Have you spent time with God this morning? If not, consider that as a beginning to your new year’s goals.

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Am I Wise? Prov 24

ImageI like to think I am wise because of the many years under my belt, but Proverbs always checks my stride to show areas where I am faltering. Prov 24 is one of those chapters!

I hold in my  hands the most marvelous treasure of all, God’s Word. Hidden within are the jewels of wisdom that God will refine so that I will shine as His light in a dark world. The book of Proverbs  is God’s treasure box which is filled with His gems which if read, pondered, and applied are the gems God uses to fill my crown that shows I am His child of royal standing. 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Proverbs Gleanings: Image

Vs 1, 7, 8, 19 Observe those who are unrighteous, listen to how they converse. Their lips reveal that upon which they dwell in their thoughts. They lack restraint where judicial matters are concerned, are schemers and scoffers. They are the people who belong to the “loose lips” club; avoid them. Am I avoiding them or encouraging them in their foolish ways by listening to them?

Vs 11-12 Today the news is filled with horror of human trafficking, genocide, infanticide and more. We shudder but are we assisting to help alleviate the problem or are we ignoring it?  During WWII many knew but did nothing. “We have a responsibility to help such people. If we claim ignorance of their condition as a reason for not helping them, we need to remember that God knows the true condition of our heart and will requite us accordingly. We are responsible to rescue those who are in mortal danger. This includes warning and teaching those who are hastening to destruction.” [Toy] What am I doing? I am involved in a “holy huddle” Bible Study but on Thursdays I enter the halls of a local elementary school and share the Good News with children who are often unchurched. What are you doing?

Vs 13-14 Just as honey is nourishing to the physical body, so wisdom is the honey for the soul. If we neglect feeding the body it begins to decline, if we neglect reading, meditating and applying the principles in the Word of God our spiritual body declines. “OUCH”!!!

Vs 17-18, 23-26, 28-29 O you who say you are wise, when I see your “works” what do I discern? If I rejoice over an enemy’s stumbling what does that say about my heart and spiritual attitude? If I am prejudiced what does that say about my understanding of  the truth that we are all made in the image of God?  If I hide my light under a bushel and do not share the gospel when God provides a divine opportunity what does it say about what I know and believe about the message of salvation? When I bear false witness what does it say about my understanding of God’s moral law which Jesus obeyed?  

Vs. 30-34/6:6-11 Observe your daily work.  Remember the parable about the ant and the grasshopper and I need to  ask myself: Are you more like the ant that was diligent to prepare for winter or more like the grasshopper who slept in the heat of summer but went begging for food in the winter? I am either diligent or I am a sluggard. Principle: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” [2Thess 3]

Wise thoughts to glean and determine my steps. Pro 16:9 A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.

What is God teaching you? Image

crown image: credit firstcovers.com

 

 

 

Soar Like the Eagle!

ImageA good question to ask oneself might be: Where am I today in my spiritual walk? Have I stopped to thank God for His many provisions of blessings?

 In Psalm 102 we find that the psalmist is “in the pits.”  The psalmist  visualizes life alone, life without hope. “I am like an owl in the wilderness;”  bereft of friendship and like a ruin that has been abandoned;  like the solitary bird on a rooftop, alone and separated from company.  In sharp contrast, in Psalm 103 he is soaring like the eagle, the bird that commands the heavens with its ability to fly to the heights of the clouds and descend with a crescendo to capture its prey, in control over others. C.H. Spurgeon wrote: Renewal of strength, amounting to a grant of a new lease of life, was granted to the Psalmist; he was so restored to his former self that he grew young again, and looked as vigorous as an eagle, whose eye can gaze upon the sun, and whose wing can mount above the storm. It is in this time that the psalmist reflects how blessed he has become because of the Lord’s provision and protection.

In reading this psalm reflect on the word “all” and count the many ways that God has touched your life. As a pastor and poet, H. F. Lyte did just that and wrote a famous hymn “Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven.” The first stanza sums up his thoughts as he reflected in his time of prayer and praise:

 Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Take time today and ponder the many blessings that God has placed before you. “God’s blessings… include forgiveness of sins, healing from sickness, deliverance from death, enrichment of life, satisfaction, and rejuvenation.” [Constable].

Ponder the eagle as a picture of rejuvenation. The eagle mates for life, builds his nest at the very tops of trees, remains strong and lives the longest of any bird, often to 38 yrs. The eagle remains vigorous, symbolizing power, freedom and transcendence, meaning that they surpass and exceed in superiority to the end of their lives. “Likewise God enables His people to remain spiritually vigorous until death.” [Constable]

Where are you today in your spiritual walk? Stop and meditate upon this psalm today and be renewed like the eagle.