Prayer Is First … by Jaxon Erickson

Today’s Passage – Ecclesiastes 9 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 9 – 10Psalms 126 – 130Proverbs 27)

Read the “0727 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

Matthew 21:22 talks about how if you believe God, He will answer your prayers. If it’s God’s will, He will give you an answer. It may not be what you are hoping for, but you can trust in God that He will always do what is right.

So keep praying for your family, your friends, your games (in the future), and school tests.

Love you guys. Be safe.

Action Jaxon

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Satan’s Greatest Weapon – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Proverbs 28 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 3 – 4; Psalms 116 – 118; Proverbs 24)

Read the “0724 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2)

Good morning. Do you remember when our country was controlled by the righteous? President George Washington, after he was sworn in, walked next door to pray in a small New York chapel. How he dedicated our new country to God. Every session of congress would open with prayer: our leaders asking God to direct their paths. Matthew Henry gave a comment on this verse…

The people will have cause to rejoice or mourn according as their rulers are righteous or wicked; for, if the righteous be in authority, sin will be punished and restrained, religion and virtue will be supported and kept in reputation; but, if the wicked get power in their hands, wickedness will abound, religion and religious people will be persecuted, and so the ends of government will be perverted.” (Matthew Henry)

In 1962, the Bible and prayer were taken out of schools: it was all down hill from there. Today we have kids embracing godless Socialism. Instead of being taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, they are taught that homosexuality is okay. If you are a boy, and identify as a girl, you are a girl. If you are a girl, and identify as a boy, you are a boy. And if you tell them that God made you a girl, or God made you a boy, you are labeled as a hater. You violated their rights. You hurt their little feelings. Poor baby. You can put on the clothes of the opposite sex, but you will still be what God made you. But the government says it’s okay, so it must be okay. Depressing isn’t it? Ecclesiastes 10:5 says…

“There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.” (Ecclesiastes 10:5-6)

Even at the birth of Jesus there was wickedness in high places…

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” (Matthew 2:16-18)

Herod murdered many children of Bethlehem who were 2 years of age or under. When the Jews made their children pass through the fire to Baal, there were about 7000 children murdered: burned alive. Although abortion have slowed in past few years, in America there have been over 62 million abortions since Roe vs. Wade. Depressing when you see what our country has become? There is medication for depression. One of the side effects is thoughts of suicide. And depression is one of the devil’s most powerful tools. But we can fight it because we know Him who has all the power.

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

And we also know where the devil is going to end up…

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:7-10)

So we know Who wins in the end. We also know that the devil will be cast into the lake of fire, where he will remain forever burning. But what can we do now?

1) Believe on the LORD that He will deliver you.

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:13)

2) Trust in the LORD that He will deliver you.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

3) Have faith that the LORD will deliver you.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

“Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:4-8)

God is God, and His perfect plan is being executed. And you are included in that plan. Knowing that God is in control, knowing that you have a home in heaven, and knowing that Jesus is your Saviour is all you should need to get out of your depression. Don’t give the devil a bullet for his gun.

Peace.


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A Cry Goes Out – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage –Proverbs 7 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 5 – 6; Psalms 81 – 85; Proverbs 17)

Read the “0717 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.” (Proverbs 8:1-4)

Good morning. I think about all the warnings shouted out before disaster strikes. We could still be under the rule of a king or queen if Paul Revere did not make his historic ride, warning that the British were coming. Sensors monitoring fault lines warn that an earthquake can strike. There are devices on the ocean floor that warn of tsunamis. A green sky with rain, hail, and wind could warn that a tornado may be coming. A red hourglass shape on a spider warns: stay away, I’m a poisonous Black Widow. And a violin shape warns of a Brown Recluse spider. “DANGER! DO NOT ENTER” reads a sign on a fence. A warning is only good if you heed it. Heed the cry that wisdom and understanding shout out…

“O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.” (Proverbs 8:5)

You need to start somewhere…

1) Have an understanding heart and understand wisdom.

Hear…

“Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.” (Proverbs 8:6-9)

2) Receive instruction and knowledge.

“Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” (Proverbs 8:10-11)

Did you receive instruction and knowledge? Then you should have understanding…

“Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” (Proverbs 8:14-21)

3) Be blessed by keeping the ways of understanding.

“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” (Proverbs 8:32-34)

4) There is life in wisdom and understanding.

“For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:35-36)

A cry goes out; heed the warning.

Peace.


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Are You Happy?

Today’s Reading – Psalms 140 – 145 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 25 – 26Psalms 61 – 65Proverbs 13)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

Read the “0713 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” (Psalm 144:15)

Years ago, I was researching some ideas for a new gospel tract for the church. I came across one that really caught my attention. On the front cover it had a picture of a smily face with the question, “Are You Happy?”  I thought that this tract would be a great attention getter for others as well; but I wondered, is it biblical? I’m not talking about the contents of the tract, which is doctrinally sound. I am talking about the concept of happiness.  What does the Bible really say about happiness? I had always been taught that God’s people can be joyful, but joy is deeper that happiness. In other words, you can be joyful even when you’re not happy. I suppose that may be true at times, but I did a little more research and discovered that the Bible very clearly teaches that God’s children should be a happy people.  Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that there will be times in our lives when we are sad; and to some degree I think feeling sad is good for us and part of our complete emotional makeup. But, for the most part, we who are saved ought to be the happiest people on the planet. Why? Because we have an awful lot to be happy about.

Consider what the Word of God says about happiness:

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:”(Job 5:17)

“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” (Psalm 128:1&2)

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:” (Psalm 146:5)

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Psalm 3:13)

“He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” (Proverbs 14:21)

Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 28:14)

I could list some more verses, but I think you get the idea. Why then are so many Christians miserable, discontented people? Why are we always so negative? It’s no wonder, we are failing terribly at reaching the world with the gospel. Why should the lost world want what we claim to have with our doctrine, but fail to demonstrate in a happy, contented life.  I don’t think happiness is all that elusive. I think it can be found in a right relationship with God. By that I mean that you are saved and yielded to the Spirit of God, surrendered to His will. If you are saved and still doing things your way, you are not going to be happy, because you will have an inner turmoil going on inside of you as God the Holy Spirit works to bring you into submission.

By the way, we ordered the tract, and it was a great eye catcher. We even had a special series of messages surrounding the theme “Are You Happy?”.


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Happy To Be In Church

people-smiling

Today’s Reading – Psalms 120 – 132 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 21 – 22; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read the “0711 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” – (Psalm 122:1)

“Except the LORD build the house they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” – (Psalm 127:1)

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” – (Psalm 133:1)

I remember when when my grandson Jaxon was just a young boy, Kindergarten age or so, you could put a smile on his face just by telling him that you were taking him to church. He loved to go to church and still does. When he was just a toddler, he loved to put on his little tie.  He loved to ride in the church bus on soul winning night. He loved (and still loves) everything about the church, and he is glad every time he goes.

For my devotion this morning I have listed a couple of verses from our reading today (and one from tomorrow’s reading) that I believe can certainly be considered together. Though, I may be taking a little bit of liberty regarding the proper interpretations of these Scriptures in their original contexts, I do not believe my thoughts violate basic Biblical truth. The first verse (Psalm 122:1) talks about the joy of being in the house of God. I also love to be in the house of God with God’s people, but there have been times in my life when I did not appreciate going to church. Before I was saved, the last thing I wanted to do was to go to church; and even after my salvation there have been times when I dreaded church. Thinking back at these times I now realize that the reason for my apprehension was either because my own heart was not right, or that there was something not right going on in the church.

I remember years ago my wife and I were at a church business meeting. The pastor of the church had fired the youth pastor. The problem was that a good portion of the church really liked the youth pastor and did not want to see him go. The result was a church split, with a lot of arguing, gossiping, and bitterness that certainly was not pleasing to the Lord. The lack of unity (Psalm 133:1) among the brethren caused the church to become an unpleasant place to go.

The bottom line is, however, that a church where the people are striving together, submissive to the will of God, is a place that is a downright joyful place for the Christian to go; unless, of course, his heart is at odds with the will of God. If the church is healthy, and the Christian is healthy spiritually, there ought to be a joyful anticipation of going to the House of God. I am very thankful for the church where I serve. Though we are not a large church, we enjoy serving and worshipping together. It is my prayer that our church will grow together, both spiritually and numerically. However, the house must be built by the Lord. It must be done His way, otherwise, we are just wasting our time.

Do you look forward to going to church, or to you you dread it? If the thought of going is unpleasant to you, you need to ask yourself, why? It may be that there is a major problem within the congregation; but more often than not, the problem lies within your own spiritual condition. If you are out of the will of God, being in God’s house, and around God’s people will certainly be a difficult experience. If that is your situation, please don’t blame the church for your misery, and don’t run from the church either. If you do, you may experience a temporary relief from your feelings, but it will ultimately lead to more sorrow. The best thing that you can do is get back inside the will of God. Inside of God’s will, the local church is a place of happiness.


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I Will Walk At Liberty – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalm 119 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 19 – 20; Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10)

Read the “0710 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” (Psalm 119:45)

Good morning. The second verse of America The Beautiful reads…

O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassioned stress,

A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness!

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

See those last four words? Our freedom is in the law: God’s Law. We have perfect liberty in God’s perfect Law. There is a Hebrew word that has been translated as enough, large, wide, broad, and proud: rachab (raw-khawb’). That is except for one verse in the whole Old Testament. In Psalm 119:45, it is translated liberty. It is good to know that all the liberty you have is…

1) Enough.

“Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.” (2Kings 4:1-7)

When the widow filled all the containers, the oil stopped. She had enough: enough to sell, pay off her debt, and live off the rest: enough.

2) Large, wide, and broad.

When we walk after God’s Precepts, His Law, He gives us all the space we need. Great is the liberty He gives us.

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19)

“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)

3) Proud.

Wait a minute, I thought that God did not like pride? He doesn’t. The translation was proud not pride. Thank the Lord for Google. In the British language, proud means slightly projecting from a surface. The example was given: “When the brake is engaged, the lever does not stand proud of the horizontal.”

When I engage my brake lever in my KIA Soul, it only comes up about one and a half inches, so in my case, the brake lever DOES stand proud of the horizontal.

“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.” (Matthew 17:24-27)

All it took was a piece of money to keep from offending the tribute collectors. God provided it, Peter gave it, and the collectors received it. Such a small price to pay for obedience pleasing to God.

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” (Psalm 119:45)

Peace.


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Seven Truths To Walk In – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalm 86 – 89 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 5 – 6; Psalms 11 – 15; Proverbs 3)

Read the “0703 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“A Prayer of David. Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.” (Psalm 86:1)

Good morning. We have here a prayer of David. And we also know that David was a man after God’s own heart. We should be able to learn something about his relationship with God, and what may be missing from our walk with the LORD.

1) See yourself as David saw himself: poor and needy.

“LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:” (Psalm 10:17)

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:8-10}

2) Set yourself aside for God’s use.

“Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.” (Psalm 86:2)

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:15-16)

3) Pray daily.

“Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.” (Psalm 86:3-7)

4) Praise Him.

“Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.” (Psalm 86:8-10)

5) Walk in His Truth.

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” (Psalm 86:11)

6) Glorify God.

“I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.” (Psalm 86:12)

7) Thank God for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do for you.

“For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.” (Psalm 86:13-17)

Trust and Obey

Don Moen

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Peace!


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David’s Prayer in a Seemingly Hopeless Situation

Today’s Reading – Psalms 69 – 72 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 13 – 16Psalms 141 – 145Proverbs 29)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 3:1

Read the “0629 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a another post from this morning’s reading passage – “Who Are You Magnifying?”

Psalm 69

“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. 2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.” (Psalm 69:1 – 3)

This psalm is quoted more in the New Testament than any other save Psalm 22 and Psalm 119.

Notice in the introductory material that this psalm is a psalm of David, and it is upon Shoshannim. We have seen this word once before in the introduction to Psalm 45. The word means “Lily”. It is translated “Lily” in 13 other places in the Old Testament, 8 of which are in the Song of Solomon:

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” (Song of Songs 2:1)

This psalm is messianic in that it speaks of Christ (vs. 4, 21), and it is imprecatory, in that it calls for judgment upon David’s enemies.

I          David’s Problem (vs. 1 – 12)

The historical context of this psalm is not revealed.

In v. 1, David cries out to God to save him. 

David uses the metaphor of a drowning man, which he has done before in Psalm 18:4 – 6, and in other places:

“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” (Psalms 18:4-6)

Sometimes the problems of life overwhelm us and suffocate us. The language used here vividly describes David’s hopelessness as well as his despair (v. 3). 

Notice in v. 4 that David was hated “without a cause”, but in vs. 7 & 9 David reveals that their hatred of him was due to his love for God.

People that hate God will hate God’s children:

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV)

David’s problems lead him to pray. 

II         David’s Petition (v. 6; vs. 13 – 28)

            David prays for his own deliverance. (vs. 13 – 21)

            David prays for his enemies’ demise. (vs. 22 – 28)

Our Lord told us to love our enemies; to pray for our enemies; and to even do good to them:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

Our petition should lead us to praise.

III       David’s Praise (vs. 29 – 36)

This is a familiar pattern in the Psalms. David praises God before the deliverance came, because he knew that deliverance would come. He trusted that God would ultimately deliver him, no matter how bad the situation looked.


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Forgiveness – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 51 – 57 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 4 – 6; Psalms 126 – 130; Proverbs 26)

Read the “0626 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” (Psalm 51:1-4)

Good morning. David sinned. He committed adultery with Bathsheba. He tried lying to cover up the pregnancy. When that didn’t work, he had her husband, Uriah, killed in battle. But nothing escapes the eyes of the LORD. David’s sin found him out. David cried out for mercy. Mercy is not getting what we deserve, and according to the Law, David deserved death. Notice this about the sins we commit…

1) Your sin will be always before you.

The guilt you have will not leave you until you confess it, and ask God for forgiveness.

2) All sin is against God.

God gave us His preferences, and His Ten Commandments. When we break them, we sin against God.

3) Only God can give you mercy.

And His mercy endures forever.

4) Your joy and gladness will be fleeting.

You may be happy for a little while, but that will disappear quickly.

5) When you sin, your relationship with God will be broken.

But God is waiting to hear from you.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:8-9)

And this is something we all must do. You see, we are all sinners…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:8-10)

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

That’s what David did…

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalms 51:1-12)

And the LORD did so…

“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” (2Samuel 12:13-14)

Sometimes there are consequences to our sin: our sin will affect those around us. But God is still waiting for you to confess an forsake your sin.

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

Peace.


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Fret Not Thyself

Today’s Reading – Psalms 36 – 39 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 John 1 – 5Psalms 111 – 115Proverbs 23)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33

Read the “0623 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“(3) Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (4) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (5) Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (6) And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. (7) Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” (Psalm 37:3-7)

Psalm 37 is a beautiful psalm, filled with promises and encouragement for all believers. This psalm is an acrostic psalm, and was written in David’s later years (verse 25). It begins with a warning for us not to be envious against those in the lost world who seem to be prospering greatly. It is a common frustration that is felt by God’s people regarding the prosperity of lost people, and the seeming lack of judgment leveled by God against the wicked. Why do bad people not get what’s coming? God reminds us here through the psalmist that the success and wealth experienced here on this earth by the lost is only temporary. The word “wicked” is found fourteen times in this psalm.

Similar verses:

“Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” (Proverbs 23:17-18)

“Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.” (Proverbs 24:19-20)

See also Psalm 73

Jeremiah asked God the same thing:

“Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1)

The people of God in the Old Testament were looking for earthly, material blessings as a sign of the blessing of God. Today, we do not look for those things, We are looking for spiritual, and eternal blessings – we live by faith in what will be. The Israelites were expecting their reward in the earth. They are still looking forward to an earthly kingdom, which we know as the Millennial Kingdom, where God will bless them abundantly.

It seemed completely inconsistent with what they knew about God to witness the unrighteous seemingly receiving the blessings that were reserved for God’s people. God’s great reminder to these folks in David’s day, and to us today as well, is to just wait. God will take care of it in His time. God will reward the righteous, and also condemn the wicked on His timetable, not ours. The prosperity of the wicked can only be seen in the short term, because in the long run it can be seen that they do not prosper at all.

The phrase “fret not thyself” is found 3 times in this psalm. The phrase means don’t get angry, or stressed out about something. It literally means to not get agitated, or heated. God is telling His people to “chill out”. This phrase is found in only one other passage in the Bible, which was in the passage that we just read in Proverbs 24.

I          Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers (v. 1)

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” (Psalms 37:1)

Notice that fretting, or getting angry with the bad people is associated here with envy. (see also Proverbs 24:19 above)

“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” (Proverbs 24:1-2)

We shouldn’t envy them because their time is short. Their happiness is only temporary; ours is eternal. God says five times in this psalm that the wicked will be “cut off” (vs. 9, 22, 28, 34, 38)

“Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” (James 1:9-11)

Notice instead what we are commanded to do:

            A         Trust (v. 3)

            B         Delight (v. 4)

            C         Commit (vs. 5 – 6)

            D         Rest (v. 7)

 II         Fret Not Thyself Because of the Prosperity of the Wicked (v. 7)

The prosperity of the wicked can only, at best, last through this life; and even though they may be prospering materially, they are probably not prospering in other areas: they may be very miserable people.

III       Fret Not Thyself To Do Evil (v. 8)

Sometimes our anger at and envy of wicked people can cause us to decide to join them. God says, “don’t do it!”

The remainder of the psalm contains many comparisons between the godly and the wicked; and it also foretells of the consequences that face the ungodly. It may seem like they are on top of the world now, but just wait a while. There are also many promises given here to the godly.

The great encouragement to the people of God in this passage is found in v. 34:

“Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” (Psalms 37:34)

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalms 27:14)

“Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.” (Proverbs 20:22)

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)


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