MY LIPS ARE SHOUTING

October 14, 2014

Psa. 71:23 My lips will shout for joy,

when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed

David really taught our world to sing. Obviously, people had been singing for thousands of years before David came along, but David was a game changer. His songs were not just good songs, they were permeated with joy, the kind of joy that gets inside of you and fills every crevice. Where did this sort of joy come from? For David , it started on just another average day. He was tending those blasted sheep again when he heard one of his brothers shouting, “David!. Come to the house. Come to the house now! Samuel is there and he is calling for you”. This could be really good or it could be really bad. Samuel was one serious dude, people had a bad habit of dying when he came around. David ran home as fast as his legs would carry him. Inside he knew his life was about to change. As he walked into the room he saw his brothers, his dad Jesse, and the he saw the prophet. Samuel’s eyes were fixed on David as he motioned for David to come. What happened next is beyond description. He felt oil poured over his head but more than oil. Something like wind and fire swept all over him. David didn’t know the ramifications of what had happened but he knew his life was forever changed.
From that day forward, David experienced the power and presence of the Lord. His soul was permeated with a joy bigger than anything he had ever known. He couldn’t help himself, his heart was filled with melodies and words. We call them the Psalms of David. David nor the world have ever been the same. Here are some thoughts by Spurgeon on David’s joyful songs.

“My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee. It shall be no weariness to me to praise thee. It shall be a delightful recreation, a solace, a joy. The essence of song lies in the holy joy of the singer. And my soul, which thou hast redeemed. Soul singing is the soul of singing. Till men are redeemed, they are like instruments out of tune; but when once the precious blood has set them at liberty, then are they fitted to magnify the Lord who bought them. Our being bought with a price is a more than sufficient reason for our dedicating ourselves to the earnest worship of God our Savior. Here is the final vow of praise”.

Like Spurgeon says, redemption sets our soul in tune. So go ahead and sing, if you are one of His, your songs will be filled with incredible joy.

DIRTY FLOORS AND CHRIST

October 13, 2014

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY

“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), (Philippians 3:8 AMP)

I love the Pauline Epistles! Christ had indeed grabbed hold of Paul and lost all contact with the love of this world. Jesus even told Martha that Mary “chose the best part” when Martha went to Him complaining about being overloaded; Mary praying too much. Years ago, on finding the school floors dirty, I drug the principal, head of maintenance, and the worker over to look at the floors. I grabbed the broom out of the worker’s hands and pulled up the carpet and begin to sweep arrogantly. That night the Lord rewound the tape of the day before me and I saw that it was not what we would call “walking in love”. When I found out the next day, the worker quit I got all the more embarrassed.
Gill has a great way of explaining this verse: “Knowing Christ it is not of ourselves, nor by the assistance of men; it is not in the book of nature, nor in the schools of the philosophers; it is not of earth, nor earthly, but it comes from afar, from above, from heaven, from God the Father of lights; it is a free grace gift, a distinguishing one, and is very comprehensive, unspeakable, and unchangeable: and as to the object of it, it is Christ, the chiefest among ten thousands; who made the heavens, earth, and seas, and all that in them are, the sun, moon, and stars, men and beasts, birds and fishes, fossils, minerals, vegetables, and everything in nature; and therefore the knowledge of him must be superior to the knowledge of everything else; and, which adds to its excellency, it makes Christ precious, engages faith and confidence in him, influences the life and conversation, humbles the soul, and creates in it true pleasure and satisfaction; when all other knowledge fills with self-love, pride, and vanity, and just increases sorrow.”
You might ask what does this have to do with you sweeping some floor arrogantly? I had lost sight of Christ and resorted to the worries and cares of this world. Yes, the school floors need to be clean, bills paid and kids taken care of. But we need to chose the best part and treat Him as if He was the worker cleaning that floor. He is the child that needs a little extra help with homework and most of all He loves to give us the grace to go about our day knowing that it’s all for Christ and He makes all things indeed precious.

AHHHHHHH! REDEMPTION!

October 12, 2014

SONNY SUNDAY!

BY Parris Bailey
Phil.2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”

AHHHHH REDEMPTION! I don’t think we can ever fathom Christ in us and what was accomplished on the cross. What an honor for a Christian to see redemption unfold everyday in us and in the lives of others. I never tire of it. I can leave my efforts and works all on the work of Christ, for He is “both the will and to do”. Which means he gives the whole ability. It is the grace of God which inclines the will to good: and then enables us to perform it. “Thou hast wrought all our works in us.” Isa.26:12. As we cannot act without God’s grace, so we cannot pretend to deserve it. He gets the glory and I’m good with that!
Simpson puts it this way- ” It is as if, with the finger of solemn warning raised, He were standing and looking into our eyes and saying, “God has come. The Almighty has taken this matter in hand. The Eternal Jehovah has undertaken the work, therefore, mind what you do! Let there be no laxness, no negligence, and no failure on your part to meet Him and afford Him the utmost opportunity to fulfill in you all the good pleasure of His will, and the accomplishment of His high and mighty purpose for your soul. This is what the Holy Ghost brings to us, the vision of the Lord, power to see divine things as God sees them. Not only does He give us the knowledge of the truth, but the realization of it. Not only does He reveal to us the promises, but He enables us to appropriate them. Not only does He show us the living bread and the flowing water of life, but He opens our mouths to drink, and gives us the taste to receive and know the blessedness of these things. Not only does He speak to us; He speaks through us, thinks in us, gives us divine instincts and intuitions, and enables even our own sanctified judgment to act under His influence and by His suggestion, so simply and yet so perfectly that it is not so much God speaking to us, as God speaking through us, and “working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
Allow redemption to do its work, your revelation of the union with Christ is vital. Rest in the finished work of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to continue the sanctifying work in you. AHHHHH REDEMPTION!

MINISTERING SPIRITS

October 11, 2014

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” —Hebrews 1:14

Angels are seen all throughout the Bible. We see them from the guarding of Eden to their involvement with the judgement seen in the book of Revelation. Jacob saw angels in his dream on his first night away from home. These angels were ascending and descending on Jacob’s ladder to the throne of God. Isaiah saw angels in his vision of the Lord in the temple. Daniel had angelic visitations as he was involved with intercession for his nation. Angels announced the Lord’s birth, ministered to Him during His temptation, and came to Him when His soul was troubled in Gethsemane. Peter was liberated from a prison cell by an angel, an angel came to Paul during the great storm on the sea, an angel even directed Phillip in his evangelistic outreach to the Ethiopian treasurer. If you really think about, angels have been around a lot. Actually they are always around ministering to and for the heirs of God. They are there with you right now, they are always on duty. Here are some of Spurgeon’s thoughts on angels.

”Angels are the unseen attendants of the saints of God; they bear us up in their hands, lest we dash our foot against a stone. Loyalty to their Lord leads them to take a deep interest in the children of His love; they rejoice over the return of the prodigal to his father’s house below, and they welcome the advent of the believer to the King’s palace above. In olden times the sons of God were favored with their visible appearance, and at this day, although unseen by us, heaven is still opened, and the angels of God ascend and descend upon the Son of man, that they may visit the heirs of salvation. Seraphim still fly with live coals from off the altar to touch the lips of men greatly beloved. If our eyes could be opened, we should see horses of fire and chariots of fire about the servants of the Lord; for we have come to an innumerable company of angels, who are all watchers and protectors of the seed-royal.”

Why doesn’t the Lord allow us to see them? It seems to me that they are so amazing that even the Apostle John was tempted to worship an angel during his heavenly encounter. We don’t need to see them or hear from them, we have the written word for that. Its just good to know that we are surrounded. There are more with us than against us.

MY UNCLE’S GARDEN

October 10, 2014

Hos. 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;

Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the LORD,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

My uncle used to have a small farm where he grew various fruits and vegetables. As a child, I was amazed at how much food came from his small plot of land. He had field peas, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, plums, peaches, cantaloupes, watermelons (can’t forget those); the list goes on and on. Those were the sweetest watermelons I have ever eaten.
The point is this, we live in a fruitful world created by a fruitful God. The seedtime and harvest is intended to be a picture of the abundant provision the Lord has put in this world for all of us. Here are some powerful thoughts from Adam Clarke on today’s verse.

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy – Literally, ” in the proportion of mercy,” not in proportion to what you have sown, nor what justice would give, but beyond all deserts, ” in the proportion of mercy; according to the capacity and fullness of the mercy of God; what becometh the mercy of God, which is boundless, which overlooketh man’ s failings, and giveth an infinite reward for poor imperfect labor. If the earth giveth thee larger fruits than it has received, how much more shall the requiting of mercy repay thee manifold more than thou gavest!” Sowing and reaping always stand over against each other, as labor and reward.”

Thinking about that one little piece of land speaks volumes about the fruitfulness of our God. His supply in the physical world only speaks of the other world that is all around us. The spiritual world is the one where our Lord lives. That is the place our hearts long for. There is another abundant supply available for us in that invisible world.The supply of the Spirit to our hungry hearts will come with no limitations. Just as my uncle tended to that little plot of land, we must tend to the spiritual garden of our heart. How do we tend our garden? Plow the ground with prayer, plant the seeds of God’s word. As we do these things, we will be amazed at His abundant harvest in our souls. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”

JESUS WASHED THEIR FEET

October 9, 2014

John 13:4,5 Jesus rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

This is one of the most stunning scenes in the Bible. The King of Glory in the role of a servant, it doesn’t get any more radical than that. Remember, Jesus is the Creator and Sovereign Ruler over all things. For Him to enter into creation as a man is amazing, to live as the son of common village people is unthinkable; for Him to take the role of a servant and wash dirty fishermen’s feet, that is very hard to imagine. It was hard for Peter to imagine. Peter resisted until he was sharply corrected by the Lord. “Never shall you wash my feet”, Peter declared. Jesus’s response showed His actions were about more than dirty feet, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me”.
Jesus was actually displaying the powerful future ministry of the Holy Spirit with His actions. The Holy Spirit washes and renews us from the effect of sin. Here are some observations on this incredible act by Matthew Henry.

“Christ manifested his love to them by washing their feet, as that good woman (Luke vii. 38) showed her love to Christ by washing his feet and wiping them. Thus he would show that as his love to them was constant so it was condescending,— that in prosecution of the designs of it he was willing to humble himself,—and that the glories of his exalted state, which he was now entering upon, should be no obstruction at all to the favor he bore to his chosen; and thus he would confirm the promise he had made to all the saints that he would make them sit down to meat, and would come forth and serve them, would put honor upon them as great and surprising as for a lord to serve his servants. The disciples had just now betrayed the weakness of their love to him, in grudging the ointment that was poured upon his head, yet he presently gives this proof of his love to them. Our infirmities are foils to Christ’s kindnesses, and set them off.”

This display of affection was very personal and intimate. This kind of love may be hard to receive, after we receive it, it is life changing. In the same way the ministry of the Holy Spirit is personal and intimate. Open your heart today and receive His love.

UNDER THE SHADOW

October 8, 2014

Psa. 61:4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

There is nothing worse than to be cut off from the presence of God. That’s what this Psalm is about, King David had been exiled, not only had he lost his throne, he was cut off from the house of God. He had been replaced by his son Absalom. If the betrayal wasn’t bad enough, David had lost access to the place of his presence. The tabernacle was the place of the manifest presence of God. To David, this was a death sentence. The situation brings to mind one of David’s other songs, “One thing have I desired of the Lord and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord”.
Once someone has experienced the glory of the Lord, to lose access to His presence is not an option. David was crying out to God from what he called the ends of the earth, he was crying out not for his throne but to be restored to the house of God. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.

“He who communes with God is always at home. The divine omnipresence surrounds such a one consciously; his faith sees all around him the palace of the King, in which he walks with exulting security and overflowing delight. Happy are the indoor servants who go not out from his presence. The best of all is that our residence with God is not for a limited period of time, but for ages; yea, for ages of ages, for time and for eternity: this is our highest and most heavenly privilege, I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever. I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Often does our sweet singer use this figure; and far better is it to repeat one apt and instructive image, than for the sake of novelty to ransack creation for poor, strained metaphors. The chicks beneath the hen how safe, how comfortable, how happy! How warm the parent’s bosom! How soft the cherishing feathers! Divine condescension allows us to appropriate the picture to ourselves, and how blessedly instructive and consoling it is! O for more trust; it cannot be too implicit: such a covert invites us to the most unbroken repose.”

For us today, the place of his glory is the local church. This is the place where the glory dwells. If you love His presence, you understand David’s desperation. If you go to a church that welcomes and experiences His glory, you too can not stand to be separated from that blessing. If necessary, you also will cry out from the ends of the earth.

REAP IN MERCY

October 7, 2014

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord,

Hosea 10:12

I love today’s Bible verse. Obviously, the Bible has a lot to say about seedtime and harvest. I have loved this scripture for a long time, recently I saw part of it in a very different way. The part that says, “Reap in mercy”, caught my attention as I was reading through this passage again. Actually, as I thought about the phrase, three thoughts came to me.
First, all reaping is the results of mercy. We were all born in a fallen state, actually we were enemies of God. We deserved nothing and God has been pouring His blessings on us since the day we were born. Mercy rejoices and triumphs over judgement. As we are stopped in our tracks by mercy humility is the result. Our hearts are flooded with humility as we are overwhelmed by His mercies. Rather than thinking the world (or worse yet, God) owes us something, our hearts are filled with thanksgiving as we recognize the greatness of His mercy.
Secondly, I became suddenly aware that we reap in proportion to His mercy. I know our sowing plays a part but where did we get the seed for sowing anyway? Exactly! Every seed we plant we have received as provision by the mercy of God. What is the proportion of God’s mercy? Infinite times infinite. There is no limit to His mercy and no limit to his blessing upon us.
Finally, I remembered that Jeremiah said that His mercies are new everyday.
Lam. 3:22,23 “Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Every morning we wake up to the new mercies of God. As I open my eyes, new mercies are falling; when I get out of bed, new mercies; as I head off to face whatever today holds; fresh mercies. Our biggest challenge is seeing them. Our lives are daily loaded down with His benefits.
So as we start a new day today let’s pray; Lord, open my eyes and open my heart. Let me see all of your goodness that’s falling on me today. As I become aware of your incredible endless love aimed at me, forgive me for being ungrateful. Amen.
Blessings are falling on you today, stop and drink them in.

LEAD ME TO THE ROCK

October 6, 2014

Psa. 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

This was one of my favorite scripture songs in Bible school. Honestly, I think the reason I liked it then was the catchy melody and beat that we sang it with; nevertheless, the Lord used it to keep that scripture in my heart. David saw the Lord as his rock (or better-high ridge), to him, this was a place of refuge. When I think of this passage today, I think about an experience Parris and I had when we went to the Serengeti game park. We actually saw a quite large pride of lions on a rocky ridge overlooking the plain below. This was their home. It was a place of safety for their young, a place easily defended from their enemies. That is one of the ways David saw the Lord. While he was in exile, running for his life from Saul and his army, he would hide away in these mountain high places. David recognized that the Lord was actually his place of refuge.
Many times we look for the solutions to our problems or the satisfaction of our heart’s longings in the things of this world. They offer temporary help and satisfaction at best. Here is Edwards talking about the heavenly substance found in Christ.

“But Christ Jesus has true excellency, and so great excellency, that when they come to see it they look no further, but the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in him; it sees that till now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean. The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill the capacity. It is an infinite excellency, such an one as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind is used to it, the more excellent it appears. Every new discovery makes this beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind sees no end; here is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom. The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on this beauty, and it is never weary of it.”

REJOICE AND BE GLAD

October 5, 2014

Psa. 70:4 ¶ May all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”

No wonder people are consumed with self medication; with all the trouble and bad news in the world, facing it without Christ is quite overwhelming. The other option is apathy and numbness. We sometimes hear so much bad that we become glommed over and untouchable. Everything from ebola outbreaks to beheadings, the news is pretty bleak.
David knew about tough times. He grew up in a land being over run by enemies. If that wasn’t bad enough, as a young man he fell out of favor with his own king and lived in exile for many years. If it wasn’t for the touch of God characterized by joy on David’s life he would have been overcome by fear and depression. Instead, he learned to strengthen himself in the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Here are some thoughts from Henry and Spurgeon on supernatural joy.

“He prays that God would fill the hearts of his friends with joy , that all those who seek God and love his salvation, who desire it, delight in it, and depend upon it, may have continual matter for joy and praise and hearts for both; and then he doubts not but that he should put in for a share of the blessing he prays for; and so may we if we answer the character.”

“All true worshippers, though as yet in the humble ranks of seekers, shall have cause for joy. Even though the seeking commence in darkness, it shall bring light with it. And let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. Those who have tasted divine grace, and are, therefore, wedded to it, are a somewhat more advanced race, and these shall not only feel joy, but shall with holy constancy and perseverance tell abroad their joy, and call upon men to glorify God.”

So if the circumstances or daily news have you in the dumper, know that there is a joy that transcends all of the stuff. David survived in caves and in the wilderness while running from Saul and hiding from the Philistine army. We have the same joy available to us. Rejoice in the Lord! Strengthen yourself in His joy, He will not only get you through, the journey will be a blast.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 407 other followers