Saturday, May 30, 2015

Overlooking Offenses...Seriously?

READ Proverbs 19-20
May 30, 2015

One of the most noticeable aspects of Christ-like thinking is how different it is from worldly thinking and culture. Proverbs 19:11 is one clear instance of that dissimilarity. The world says to return evil for evil. The world says if someone disrespects you then give them the full force of your anger. But God says here a person of good sense displays patience in being slow to anger and is honored by overlooking an offense. How different!

But even some non-Christian personalities of old understood the value of this wisdom. Seneca, a Roman philosopher at the time of Christ said, “It is easier not to give way to the passion than, when indulged in, to govern it.” Augustus, who often went into rages, was told to repeat the alphabet to give him time to calm down.

You and I also know the harm that is caused by “losing our temper” and letting it spew forth in words or actions. So the best approach is to begin by praying and asking God to give you a slowness to your anger (James 1:19). Then purpose in your heart to obey him. He will give you the strength to do it.

Prayer: Father, your word is so clear and so practical for my daily needs. Help me to have a calm, forgiving spirit and to honor you by overlooking affronts. Lord, give me the mind of Christ and the ability to display his spirit to the world around me.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Removing All Doubt

READ Proverbs 17-18

I must confess that I was convicted by the Word as I read this morning of how I am sometimes foolish. Three verses, closely packed at the end of 17 and beginning of 18, speak to foolishness and the use of the tongue.

“27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.

As I read I also was reminded of the famous Mark Twain quote: “"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." Evidently, Mr. Twain was familiar with the Proverbs.

I know that there are times when, rather than listening to learn (2a), I am only eager in expressing my own opinion (2b). And also very often I find that when I do that, even I realize that my opinion wasn’t worth much. When that happens…how do I feel? Foolish!

So wouldn’t it be wise for me to listen more than I speak? Yes, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak….” (James 1:19)

Prayer: Father, forgive me for thinking that I need to express myself on every matter. Help me to quietly listen to what others have to say and consider it before responding. Help me to be edifying in my speech so that others will be built up and encouraged.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

God Really Is In Charge

READ Proverbs 15-16

I remember when I was first coming into a full realization of the sovereignty of God. I had, in fact, made the conscious decision to disprove the idea of God’s absolute sovereignty, especially in salvation. My plan was to take the Bible and show that this idea was inconsistent at best. Well, I’m sure you can guess the result. Instead of disproving the sovereignty of God I found every page of Scripture full of evidence and declaration of God’s sovereignty in all things.

Two verses in our readings today are particularly strong evidence of this truth. “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” (16:4) What better evidence could there be that God has divinely ordained that even the wickedness of man will fulfill his ultimate purposes. But let’s be clear. God made men; he didn’t make men wicked. Man makes himself a sinner. But God will ultimately use even that for his purpose. What is that purpose? The greatest ultimate purpose is God’s own glory. One evidence of this is what God said to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:16: “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” One day those who have believed will be saved to everlasting life displaying the glory of God’s mercy and love. However, at the same time those who have lived and died in sin will be damned to eternal destruction displaying the glory of God’s justice and holiness.

The other verse that so strongly points to the sovereignty of God today is 16:9: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Oh, how grateful I am for this reality. Some great doctrines have to be taken on faith alone — such as the eternality of God — because they are too big for us and we have no way to experience the full truth. But everyone of us can acknowledge this doctrine by our own experience. We have seen how God takes our plans and sometimes stops them while opening other doors or sometimes turns them in new, unexpected directions. This doesn’t remove our responsibility for making the plans. But it does reassure us that we are not left to ourselves. Let me quote from an old theologian: “The work, as it is a duty, is ours; but as a performance, it is God’s. He give what he requires, and his promises are the foundation of our performances” (Bishop Reynolds). Glory!

Prayer: Father, you alone are sovereign in all things. To you be the glory and praise for ever! Thank you for displaying your love and faithfulness in the cross of Christ so that we can be assured that every situation, crisis or opportunity is in your divine control. Help us to see you in every turn of events and help us to give thanks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taming Our Tongues & Our Texts

READ Proverbs 13-14

Let’s just be honest. Our words get us in a lot of trouble. Right? We are too quick to say things we ought not to say or we say things in the wrong spirit or we sometimes intentionally try to deceive or hurt with our tongues. Some of us more than others, yes, but all of us have a problem with our words. (And while we are at it let’s be sure that in this high tech, social media age, we include the words we produce with our fingers through texting, email, Facebook, etc.) Men have recognized this for ages. Shakespeare said, “Give thy thoughts no tongue.” That’s why the Scripture has so much to say about words. In WWII an ad campaign warned, “Loose lips sink ships.”

God wants us to beware with our words too.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (13:3)
“An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.” (Prov 12:13)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prov 18:21)
“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” (James 3:2)
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” (James 3:5)
“But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)

Folks, let’s listen to the wisdom of God and let the Holy Spirit direct us in the use of our words. Before you speak or type, ask the Lord if the words you are about to use will bring glory to him. Does what you want to say and the attitude of your heart in the way you want to say it make the gospel look good? If not, don’t say it. Don’t type it. The world certainly doesn’t need more verbiage — especially of the non-edifying kind.

Let us all pray with David: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) Or again, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! (Psalm 141:3) Paul told Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

Prayer: Father, help me guard my words. Help me guard my heart attitude that wants to spill forth words that are not pleasing to you. Help me to honor you with my lips and my writing. Through your Holy Spirit’s power, O God, please tame my tongue.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hard vs Easy Forgiveness

READ Proverbs 9-10

One of the most often misused verses of the Bible is Proverbs 10:12 and its counterpart in the New Testament 1 Peter 4:8: “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” Too often the one who has sinned wants to use this verse and apply it to others to avoid the consequences of his sin. In others words, the thinking is “if you love me, you won’t be offended by my sin and you will overlook it.” The sinner wants easy forgiveness.

But that is not the intent of the sin at all as a careful look at several verses will show. The Bible is directing this verse not for the one who sins to find an easy path but for the one who is sinned against. This helps that person to know the heart of our loving Heavenly Father who actively forgives our sins and covers them with the blood of Christ. This is hard forgiveness that requires sacrifice of the forgiver.

James 5:20 gives us very helpful clarity: “let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” As those who have been forgiven by God we are free to forgive and to help guide the sinner back to the Lord, rather than feeling a need to gain revenge for the sin. Our love will cover their sin.

So who has sinned against you? But you may say, “You don’t know. It was too grievous to forgive.” But the Scripture says “love covers all offenses.” You have been forgiven of sin against a holy and righteous God. Nothing anyone else does to you remotely compares with that (see Matthew 18:21-35). You can forgive with Christ’s help.

Prayer: Father, please give me a forgiving heart. Help me to know what is the joy of forgiveness for others. Help me to show your love to all.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mouth, Eyes, Feet & Hands for God

READ Proverbs 5-6

Solomon describes the kind of person that a Christian should not be in 6:12-14. Notice he calls him “a worthless person, a wicked man.” This is a person who has no desire to live in a godly righteous way that pleases the Lord. Everything about him causes trouble for others (14b). He uses his mouth (12), his eyes, feet and hands (13) to deceive.

But finally Solomon gets to the root of the problem: “with perverted heart devises evil” (14). There’s the issue. This person’s heart, his innermost being, is the source of his worthless wickedness. Jesus taught about that in the Sermon on the Mount.

But we are not that person because we have a new heart and our inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16). God is at work in us to give us the desire and ability to live a godly live that honors and pleases him (Phil 2:13). Christian, we can stop acting like that worthless man that we once were and we can put on the new man in Christ-likeness. Go make the gospel look good.

Prayer: Father, on this day help me to walk in integrity before you. Help me to be worthy not worthless. Help me to glorify you with my thoughts, words and actions. Help my mouth, eyes, feet and hands to declare your glory.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wise Words About the Word

READ Proverbs 1-2

Proverbs 2 begins by telling us the value of God’s Word and how we should approach it. We should submit (“receive”) ourselves to the Word and love (“treasure”) the Word (2:1). We should study (“attentive,” “inclining,” “seek” and “search”) the Word (2:2, 4). And as we do, we should pray (“call out” and “raise your voice”) for God’s help (2:3).

But what is the blessing of all this? How does Solomon say that we benefit from this approach to the Word? He lists a few things in this chapter. First, “then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (2:5ff) Second, “then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path” (2:9ff). Next, “so you will be delivered form the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words” (2:16ff). Finally, “So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous” (2:20ff).

Fairly simple isn’t it? Why should you and I be devotees of the Word of God? Because it will help us to truly know him and his ways. And we will grow in our understanding of the right ways to live and deal with others. Also, it will protect us from sin, especially the lure of immorality (adultery, porn, etc.). Then it will help us to live a life that is pleasing to God. So learn from King Solomon. Be a student of the Word.

Prayer: Father, help us to love your Word because of our love for you. Help us to treasure it and study it and, most of all, to live it every day by your grace.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Do You Think it's Pleasant to Praise?

READ Psalms 147-148

The very first verse in this passage proclaims, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.” The writer of the Psalm loved to worship God through song. Do you? No, really, do you? Do you think of lifting your voice in praise to God as being “good?” Do you truly think it is “pleasant” to join with other believers in song when you gather for worship?

Or…do you simply stand with your mouth (and heart?) closed waiting for the song or songs to be over? Though I try not to spend time in church looking at what other people are doing as we worship, I can’t help noticing at times that there seem to be a number of people around who are not participating. How sad! The single greatest sound of music that should come from our churches is not a soloist or a choir or a band or an orchestra. No, it should be the sound of the whole congregation lifting up their voices in praise of God — speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

So, if this is not what you do, perhaps the best first step is repentance. And a helpful word is the definition of repentance: a change of mind that results in a change of life. So ask God’s forgiveness on your lack of participation and then begin to sing. And PLEASE remember that it doesn’t matter how your voice sounds to others. To God it is beautiful. You think all of your children’s little songs are beautiful, don’t you? Well, God is a loving Father who loves the praises of his children. So jump in with a loud voice. Praise the Lord!

Prayer: Father, help me to have a heart for worship and praise of you. Help those in our churches to have hearts of praise and worship for you. Help us to think how pleasant it is to lift our voices in song.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

There Is No "All" Eternity

READ Prayers 145-146

“All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.” (145:10-13)

David declares that creation and new creation will thank the Lord and bless him. But he goes farther than that. He says that the saints who are God’s new creation will “speak of the glory of [his] kingdom. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you are a saint. So the question is, has David’s prophecy come true in you? Do you speak of the glory of God’s kingdom. Do you talk of him as your Lord and King to others? Do you magnify the blessing of being a part of God’s kingdom in his church? Do you tell your friends and co-workers about his power in your life and in the lives of your fellow saints?

God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (10). It is eternal. If one has been born again he will inhabit this kingdom forever — first, in the church which is the beginning of God’s kingdom throughout all generations and, finally, in the Lord’s immediate presence forever, beyond all time, through “all” eternity. I put all in quotes because there really is no such thing as “all” eternity because eternity never ends. Generations will stop. Hence we can say “all generations.” But eternity is, well, eternal. It never ends so there will never be an “all there is” of eternity.

That’s really too big for my brain to comprehend adequately. How about yours?

Prayer: Father, help me to gladly and faithfully speak of your eternal kingdom to those around me. Help me to invite them to enter and know you. Help me to care for the souls of all nations that they might come to know you.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Faithful Are the Wounds of a Friend

READ Psalms 141-142

How many of us would sincerely pray what David did in Psalm 141:5? After he has asked God to set a guard over his mouth (3) and to keep him away from evil (4) he says, “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” One of the ways that God guards us and keeps us from evil is by giving us godly counselors to speak truth in love to our lives. But how many of us truly desire to have this kind of input? Do we really want to be stricken and rebuked by righteous friends? “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6)

First of all, it takes a deep sense of humility for someone to truly want this kind of challenge his life. One must humble himself before others and let it be known to his godly friends that he desires to be held accountable by them. Then, when they do speak into our lives, we must willingly accept what they say. We must hear it and consider it and let the Lord use it to sharpen us as iron sharpens iron.

Who do you have who is righteous and mature as a Christian that you are willing to listen to when they have to give you correction? We all need those people in our lives.

Prayer: Father, help me to be willing to hear when my godly brothers and sisters speak truth in love to my life. Help me to humble myself before them. Help me to bring their ideas before you for your guidance in my life. Help me to see their wounds as a kindness and their rebuke as a blessing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Every World Leader Will Give Thanks to God

READ Psalms 137-138

David said, “All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.” (138:4-5) We hear that and we say oh how I wish that were true, that all the leaders of the nations of the world would bow down before the true and living God and worship him. In the first place the world would simply be a much nicer place. All we’d have to worry about then would be denominational differences, not radical religious animosities. Usually one doesn’t hear much about the Methodists killing the Baptists. (ha!)

But then we quickly remind ourselves that the likelihood of all the leaders of all the nations of the world giving thanks to the true God is very remote. Except……….the Bible tells us that one day it will be overwhelmingly true. Because of Jesus incarnation, death and resurrection, the Father has given him a name that is above every name. And one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11) Not only all the leaders but all the people of all the nations will one day honor him. Sadly though, at that time for many of them it will be too late. Their confession will not result in salvation but in damnation and separation from God forever.

That’s why we need to be a people with a heart for the nations and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth so that before it is too late there will be those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation who will profess Christ as Savior and Lord and they will one day be gathered with us around the throne of God for eternity to proclaim his glory. (Revelation 7:9) Let’s get busy!!

Prayer: Father, help us to be a part of seeing David’s prophecy come true. Help us to desire your glory to be spread among the nations. Let us live in such a way that those around us are drawn to you and those whom we don’t even know have a chance to hear the gospel. Let us be on mission for you.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Retirement Announcement: 1 Year Away (D.V.)

Dearest Church Family,

Thirty-one years ago this Wednesday our little family arrived in Beaumont on a Sunday morning in the middle of church. We had come to accept the call of this church to be the Senior Pastor following the wonderful ministry of Cliff Howery. These years have been a lifetime of blessing for the Price’s. So it is with deep and profound gratitude to God for His goodness to us that we announce that May 15, 2016, our 32nd Anniversary as your Pastor, will be my last day as Senior Pastor of Fellowship in the Pass Church. That’s one year from now, Lord willing.

For some time now we have sensed the Lord moving us in this direction and we believe this is pleasing to Him. We are convinced that the time has come for us to plan to move on from our places of leadership to find what God has next for us in His service. We are not ready to stop. But we are ready to change. We really do not know what the future holds but we do know Who holds the future.

Why are we doing this? Simply put, we are convinced this is what is best for the church. Thirty-two years will be long enough. Thankfully, no one has encouraged me to step down…yet. But over three years ago I introduced the idea of a transition to the Elders and, after much prayer and discussion, we agreed that this would be the wisest way to shepherd the church from one Senior Pastor to the next. We will be bringing a recommendation to you next month concerning this transition.

How does one know when it’s time to leave? Believe me, there is no objective decision making process. Selfishly, we would like it to be at a time when the response of the church is more regret than relief. Spiritually, we are convinced this is God’s will for us at this time.

So thank you for giving us the privilege of serving you all these years. We excitedly anticipate what God has next for us and for the church. We love you more than you can know. We pray that this next year will be the best yet. We covet your prayers, love and support as we move ahead during this year of transition and afterward.

In His Grace,

Walter & Janet

Saturday, May 9, 2015

What brings joy to the heart of a parent?

READ Psalms 133-134

God loves to see his children getting along. As a parent, I can relate to that. When our children were growing up the house was certainly in turmoil when there was strife between them. But when they were happily playing together or working together on some task, there was a palpable sense of peace and joy in the hearts of their parents.

Psalm 133 uses two illustrations to show how beautiful unity of the children is before the Lord. The first is the anointing oil for the priests being poured on Aaron’s head. This was a special oil (Ex 30) that could be used for no other purpose. This oil set the priests apart to be holy before the Lord. As they carried out their holy calling they pleased the Lord and blessed the people. Christians dwelling together in love and unity demonstrates our holy calling as priests to God.

The other simile is the dew of Hermon. There is some question as to how “dew” on Mt. Hermon in the far north “falls” on the mountains of the country below, especially around Jerusalem (Zion). Perhaps this is talking of the clouds of rain that would build up off the Mediterranean over Mt. Hermon then move on and drop their life-giving water on the mountains of Zion. If so, the reference would be that the unity of the brothers is like life-giving water to the people of Israel.

This is what Jesus prayed for in John 17:20-23 for Christians of all ages. His desire is that we be one in him and love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34-35). This will be a blessing to all the church as the dew coming down from Mt. Hermon.

Prayer: Father, help me to be one who loves my brothers and sisters in you and dwells together with them in love and unity. Help us all to demonstrate the unity that you, Father, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit have by the way we live together as the church. Help us to bless you and bless one another.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Rest on God's Breast

READ Psalms 131-132

Psalm 131 is one of the most beautiful and peaceful of all the Psalms. One can quickly see an OT picture of a soul that has found its rest in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.” (1)

The singer of this Psalm is expressing his humility before the Lord. A lifted up heart is a proud heart. Pursuing things that are none of one’s business is a sign of pride. But this Psalmist is neither of those.

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (2)

A weaned child is one who is simply content with its mothers presence. It is not demanding like a nursing child that eagerly seeks the mother’s breast for milk. The Psalmist is content with God as God and not for what he can get from him. He is content simply to be in God’s presence and know the joy of fellowship with him. He trusts the Lord to protect and provide when needed.

Prayer: Father, help us to be content with you and not to seek after the desires and passions and pleasures of the world. Help us to rest in your presence. Help us to trust you at all times with childlike trust and peace. For you are our resting place.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Waiting for the Lord Affects the Here and Now

READ Psalms 129-130

There is much joy and practical encouragement for the believer in “waiting for the Lord.” The Psalmist cried out, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” (130:5-6) His trust and hope were in the Lord and the Lord’s ultimate help and deliverance for him.

You and I, as NT believers, are exactly the same. Paul instructed Titus, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self- controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (2:11-13). We are to live the Christian life “waiting for the Lord.”

Then Jude encouraged us, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” (20-21)

As we fix our hope on waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus, we live lives that will be pleasing to him right now. So fix your eyes on Jesus and the hope of his coming (Hebrews 12:1-3). Wait for the Lord.

Prayer: Father, help me to anticipate and look forward to the time when Jesus comes again, whether for me in death or in the clouds before then. Help me, like Paul, to consider coming to be with you as far, far better. Help me to do this so that my life now will bring you great glory.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Heartfelt, Life-committed Worship

READ Psalms 127-128

Many of the Psalms are proverbial in nature, i.e., they state deep truths in succinct ways. These can appear as couplets (two lines) that sometimes are contrasting in nature or often repetitive in nature. Many times when they are repetitive they say the same thing twice, just in different words. We have an example of that at the beginning of Psalm 128. “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!” (1)

In verse 1 the writer is not stating two different truths about those who are blessed. Rather he is giving us a parallelism of one truth. This means that to fear the Lord equals to walk in his ways. Fear is reverence or humble worship. Walking in his ways is obedience. True worship is faithful obeying the Lord in all things at all times.

So the obvious question is — do you and I truly know the blessing that comes from being heartfelt, live committed worshippers of God? If not, don’t you think it’s time to start?

Prayer: Father, all blessing comes from you. We do not earn it; we do not deserve it. We also know that the desire and ability to fear you and walk in your ways comes from you. So we ask for your grace to provide each area of need. Give us hearts that want to worship you and give us lives that do worship you. We desperately need your grace.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015! Restoration!

READ Psalms 125-126

The Psalmist prays for God’s help and restoration in 126. He believes with deep faith that God will answer and restore the fortunes of his people. Hear his movin prayer and declaration of faith.

“Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negeb!
 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.” (4-6)

We in California certainly can relate to the blessing of “streams in the Negeb (desert).” In the midst of our severe drought we pray for rain. What a profound joy it would be for us to see streams running in our desert. But there is also a definite element of faith in this prayer. He knows that those who “sow in tears” will “reap with shouts of joy.” Those who weep in their sowing will “come home with shouts of joy.”

Many pastors through the years have used this to illustrate the burden of evangelism and sowing the seed of God’s Word. But also we can see the promise of God to his faithful people who simply cry to him in distress in the midst of the pain of their lives. God will answer and he will give joy. It may not be till we see Jesus for all eternity, but it will be everlasting joy in his presence. You can count on it.

Prayer: Father, you are so faithful to us. The Psalmist knew you as the faithful, restoring God. So we turn to you and cry out for your restoration to come. Show us your steadfast mercy and grace. Let the nations be filled with your praise.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Looking to God's Hand

READ Psalms 123-124

“Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.” (123:2) When a slave or maidservant looks to the hand of the master of mistress, they are looking for the provision of needs that the master is responsible for. The servant/slave is dependent upon the master/mistress for all their needs because they are wholly owned and possessed. They have no property of their own. They are property. So a slave/servant who trusts the mistress/master to provide looks with anticipation to the giving hand of the provider.

So you and I look to God and his tender, loving providing hand for all of our needs which he richly supplies to us in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). In fact, Paul tells us that God has provided for our salvation in Christ, therefore he will give us anything and everything else we need. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

So never stop looking! He is your gracious giving master who loves and provides for his slaves, who also happen to be his children.

Prayer: Father, you are so gracious to us in all things. You give us life and breath and food and shelter and salvation and sanctification and justification and, one day, glorification. Glory be to your name!