Because He Loves Me

Psalm 91:14 (NASB) 14 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

In Psalm 91 we are given a panoramic view of a day of darkness, destruction, and dread, but it is from a view that is peeking out from beneath the protective shadow of the Most High God.  This Psalm begins and ends with a clarification regarding to whom the promise pertains.  It is to those who dwell and abide in the very presence of the Almighty.  It is to the one that trusts in Him and has made Him a refuge and a fortress.

It is important that we understand that many of the promises and blessings spoken of in the word are for specific individuals or may be conditional. As we see in Psalm 91:14 it is because this individual has loved the Lord and known His name that he will be delivered and set securely on high.

Let us also be diligent to press in to the safety of our Lord by knowing Him and loving Him.

Thanksgiving

This is the text of the Continental Congress’ November 1, 1777 national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation; as printed in the Journals of Congress.

The committee appointed to prepare a recommendation to the several states, to set apart a day of public thanksgiving, brought in a report; which was taken into consideration, and agreed to as follows:

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

And it is further recommended, that servile labor, and such recreation as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion.

Transformed

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  ~ Romans 12:2 (NASB)

The commonly accepted meaning of repentance is: to turn from sin to faith in God.  This is not entirely inaccurate, but it is incomplete and can be misleading.  Repentance is actually a heavenly invitation to walk in the fullness of God’s kingdom here on this earth.  A kingdom filled with righteousness, peace, joy, wholeness, healing, fruitfulness, and true riches; it is a place where all the promises of God are yes and amen.

Repentance is translated from the Greek word, “metanoéō” which is derived from metá, “denoting change of place or condition”, and noéō, “to exercise the mind, think, comprehend.”  It literally means: “To change the mind.”  As a believer, repentance is changing your mind in such a way that it causes you to turn from sin to faith in Jesus Christ.

Simply put, repentance is the act and process of addressing our thought patterns.  As it pertains to our relationship with the Lord, it is the process of comparing our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs with those of the Lord, and in response, coming into agreement with His word.  When we agree with His word and combine it with faith, it will produce a change in our thoughts, which will in turn produce a change in our behavior.

Romans 12:2 is one of the best descriptions of the process of repentance.  When we renew our mind we will be transformed!

Small Beginnings

Zechariah 4:10a (NLT) Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin,”

This verse was taken from a passage speaking about the rebuilding of the second temple in Jerusalem.  The temple of this day was, from a human perspective, a dim comparison to the first temple, which was the temple of Solomon.  Solomon’s temple was extravagant in every detail, filled with gold and silver, precious stones and exotic woods and was marvelous to look at – and yet the Lord said that the glory of the latter temple would be greater than the former.

In our lives we too can miss the beauty and amazement of what the Lord is doing if we just look with our natural eyes.  Sometimes the simplest of things can be the greatest source of joy and fulfillment.  Likewise, even some of the most impressive things can be shallow and short-lived as it pertains to what really matters.

The kingdom of God is like a seed; often unimpressive at first glance.  But when the seed is sown with faith and tended with perseverance it can produce the most wonderfully reproductive blessings in our lives and the lives of our decedents.

May I encourage you to be faithful with the little things and do not grow weary in doing good – in time it is an absolute surety that you will reap the benefits of your diligence.  Anything less would be a mockery against the Lord and His word assures us, He will never let that happen.

Bold as a Lion

Proverbs 28:1 (NASB) The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.”

There is none righteous, not even one, that designation belongs to Jesus Christ alone.  He is the One that is bold as a lion and releases His roar without fear in the face of His enemies.  Since we are unable to be righteous, how can we ever hope to have the boldness of the lion?

The cross and the tomb of Jesus Christ are also our death and burial.  Those of us that have repented and have been baptized into Him have crucified and buried our old nature (sin, self-centeredness, worldliness) and have been raised up “with” Him in His resurrection life (Read Romans 6).  As a result we have submitted ourselves to Jesus Christ as Lord and Master and Ruler of our lives and we no longer live for ourselves.  Now, we can say like Paul, it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me and the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God.

The Lion-like nature of God lives in all who have received Him as Lord of their lives. Likewise, all that have died to themselves and live to Him are righteous for the same reason – it is His nature that is expressed through our lives.  Because we follow His Spirit we are living in His righteousness – so rise up people of God into the boldness of the Lion!