Are You Doing It?

 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34

As I read two different devotions today, they were remarkably opposite of one another. The verses above were part of the daily devotional called “Days of Praise” which I’ve sometimes quoted. Today’s reading was called “Godly Pursuit.” As I read the verses above, I did a personal check on each one:

  • Do I “keep my tongue from evil?’ OUCH!
  • Do I keep my “lips from speaking guile (deceit)?” YIKES!
  • Do I walk away from evil, or do I allow it to come right into my living room on that flat screen?
  • Do I do good, going out of my way to do it?
  • Am I seeking peace, or am I stirring things up, even in my home, because I want things to go my way?
  • Am I pursuing (fervently running after it, chasing it, hunting for it as though my life depended on it) peace—dying to self to allow the peace of God to rule my life?

Henry M. Morris III goes on in the devotional to say,

“So many today appear to desire the approval of the world’s philosophy or its adherents, attempting to compromise the clear messages of the Word of God with the views and lifestyles of the wicked.”

The opposite path was sadly expressed in Jeremiah 44:16-19:

“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?”

How sad! But the question for us is, “Will we only be faithful to God when things are going well—when we are prospering?”

God gives us so many promises but that doesn’t mean that the Christian life will be problem free and full of prosperity. Why?

Because rough waters make the best teachers!

Are you discouraged—tired of watching your godless neighbors prosper in all they do? The psalmist sums the whole picture up nicely for us in Psalm 73 (might be good to read the whole psalm!)

Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end (v 17).

So, if you’ve fallen off the “Godly Pursuit Trail” today, take heart! You’re not alone. Seek the Lord’s help and even the help of others to get back on the horse and ride! You will never regret making wise choices.

 

Advertisements

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

Days of PraiseThe Institute for Creation Research puts out a wonderful little devotional book called Days of Praise,  which often contains a hymn series.  If you or your church have not discovered them as yet, I hope you’ll visit their website, where you’ll find loads of wonderful material and a wealth of Biblically accurate information. The following is an example of one of their hymn series:

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

The Christian church has a rich heritage in its hymn.  Over the years, dear saints of God have framed great Christian doctrines in music, easy to remember and a joy to sing.  The unfathomable love of Christ for us is laid out clearly in the first verse of one such hymn, “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.”

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

Our text reminds us that the love of Christ is a different kind of love than that which we can express or even comprehend.  We can only ask, “What manner of love is this?”  We know it as grace, unmerited favor, a sweet blessing given to us that we do not deserve.

This love surrounds us, buoying us up and sweeping us along in its current.  We have the privilege of returning that love: “We love, him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  Such love led Him to Calvary and us to eternal life.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever belie eth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

This love will lead us on to glory, where we will spend eternity with the Author of love.  Here He continues forever extending His love gifts to us.  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).  His love for us is so deep. JDM

Recently, I was praying with a woman and her prayer stopped me short.  As she prayed for an unsaved man, she prayed that he would know the unfathomable love that God had for him!  Sadly, I must admit that I often prayed that God would give him a glimpse of hell.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  Romans 2:4

Yes, the awful truth about hell often awakens the soul to a consciousness about sin and its consequences, but as this verse says, it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance; and oh, how good our God is!  How rich is his goodness, how long is His forbearance, and how immeasurable is His longsuffering towards His children who should know better in the first place!