ALL FLESH IS COMING TO YOU

May 29, 2015

O You who hear prayer,

To You all flesh will come.

Ps.65:2

What an amazing God. This God who is bigger than our brains can ever grasp, gives His attention to our prayers. I know all of us have short attention spans. Our minds tend to wander while others are talking to us, not our God. He listens intently to every prayer that we pray. What attracts His interest? He is seeking our heart; it is our love and attention that He is after. In today’s verse David paints a two fold picture. First we see the Lord listening intently to our prayers, next we see all flesh responding. This is the hope throughout the scripture, His Spirit being poured out on every tribe and tongue. Charles Spurgeon describes this phenomenon in his Treasury of David. Check it out.

“Unto thee shall all flesh come. This shall encourage men of all nations to become suppliants to the one and only God, who proves his Deity by answering those who seek his face. Flesh they are, and therefore weak; frail and sinful, they need to pray; and thou art such a God as they need, for thou art touched with compassion, and dost condescend to hear the cries of poor flesh and blood. Many come to thee now in humble faith, and are filled with good, but more shall be drawn to thee by the attractiveness of thy love, and at length the whole earth shall bow at thy feet. To come to God is the life of true religion; we come weeping in conversion, hoping in supplication, rejoicing in praise, and delighting in service. False gods must in due time lose their deluded votaries, for man when enlightened will not be longer be fooled; but each one who tries the true God is encouraged by his own success to persuade others also, and so the kingdom of God comes to men, and men come to it.”

Did you catch the power of Spurgeon’s words? ‘We come weeping in conversion, hoping in supplication, rejoicing in praise, and delighting in service.’ Here is the heart of the matter, we must come. We must come to Him in prayer, in His word, in worship, and in the assembling of His church.That is what our restless hearts are yearning for.  Our world, our nation, our city, and our families are waiting. They too are waiting to come before the Lord.

PRAISE IS SILENT

May 28, 2015

Psa. 65:1 ¶ Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed. 
True worship is quite mysterious. To the lost man, worship makes no sense. To the saved, worship is the fabric of his life. In today’s verse David is describing someone waiting silently in the presence of God in Zion. Zion is the place of the manifest shekinah glory. Waiting in that place is like nothing else. It is a place beyond words. Read carefully the Amplified Bible’s translation of this verse. 

Psa. 65:1 AMP – TO YOU belongs silence (the submissive wonder of reverence which bursts forth into praise) and praise is due and fitting to You, O God, in Zion; and to You shall the vow be performed.

When you are given access into His holy presence often times silence is the only appropriate response. Words would tend to cheapen the moment. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this amazing verse. 
“Praise is silent unto thee (so the word is), as wanting words to express the great goodness of God, and being struck with a silent admiration at it. As there are holy groanings which cannot be uttered, so there are holy adorings which cannot be uttered, and yet shall be accepted by him that searches the heart and knows what is the mind of the spirit. Our praise is silent, that the praises of the blessed angels, who excel in strength, may be heard. Let it not be told him that I speak, for if a man offer to speak forth all God’s praise surely he shall be swallowed up, Job xxxvii. 20. Before thee praise is reputed as silence, so far exalted is God above all our blessing and praise. Praise is due to God from all the world, but it waits for him in Zion only, in his church, among his people.”
Wow! There are ‘holy adorings’ that cannot be uttered. Henry is describing the blessed moment when someone is struck with speechless awe in the majestic presence of the Almighty. Praise is due the Lord from all the earth but it is only waiting in Zion. 
What is David’s Zion? It is the place where the ark was pitched during David’s reign. Here David organized twenty-four hour worship before the Glory of the Lord. This is Zion. This was a prophetic glimpse into the church of the last days. Praise is waiting in silence in Zion, waiting the coming of our King.  

I AM YOUR GOD

May 27, 2015

Psa. 50:7 ¶ “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you.  I am God, your God. 

It’s funny the different reasons people pray or believe in God. They say there are no atheists in a fox hole, death has a way of bringing us to a place of faith in God. This tends to indicate that one reason people believe in God is that nobody wants to die, and nobody wants to go to hell. Another source or reason for believing in God is perceived need. The need could be financial, health related, family issues, or a vast array of other problems. So need or problems is often a good reason to pray. But this is the elephant in the room, shouldn’t we pray for the greatest of all rewards? ‘What would that be?’, you ask. Why that would be God Himself. He even said in His word that when we seek Him with all of our heart we would find Him. He also told Abraham that He would be Abraham’s exceeding great reward. Augustine was all about this idea of seeing God as our reward. He even called Him the sweetest of all pleasures. Here are Augustine’s thoughts from today’s verse. 
“When then shall I speak to thee? If thou hearest. When hearest thou? If thou art my people. For, “Hear, my people:” thou hearest not if thou art an alien people. “Hear, my people, and I will speak to thee: Israel, and I will testify to thee.” …For “Thy God,” is properly said to that man whom God doth keep more as one of His family, as though in His household, as though in His peculiar: “Thy God am I.” What wilt thou more? Requirest thou a reward from God, so that God may give thee something; so that what He hath given thee may be thine own? Behold God Himself, who shall give, is thine own. What richer than He? Gifts thou wast desiring, thou hast the Giver Himself. “God, thy God, I am.”
The Bible, when taken at face value is shocking. We are called God’s children and He calls Himself our very own God. If that is true, then we have a life better than anyone can even imagine. God Himself, the Creator of all pleasures, has made Himself available to us. It is in knowing Him and enjoying Him that our lives finally find purpose. 

LEAVING BEHIND SOMETHING NOT WORTH KEEPING

May 26, 2015

MERRY TUESDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my

daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

Ruth 2:2,3

Who doesn’t love the story of Ruth the Moabitess that left everything behind to grab hold of the God of Naomi? She certainly didn’t see gold or riches, or even a future going with Naomi but I believe she saw eternity. Something supernatural got a hold of her and lead her to Bethlehem which means “the house of Bread”. Even when they both returned to Bethlehem the scripture said, “And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty.” Have you ever been at a place that you feel this way? Things were going so well but either you took a wrong turn or bad news arrived at your door unexpectedly. But for Ruth, whatever she was leaving behind was not enough to keep her there. Despite what Ruth saw Naomi lose, it was still more than what Ruth ever had. No, she is not mindful of the country from which she came out, otherwise she had now a fair occasion to return. Expositor Bible says, “To every Ruth comes the Heavenly Friend Whose are all the pastures and fields, all the good things of life. The Christian hope is in One Who cannot fail to mark the most private faithfulness, piety and love hidden like violets among the grass. If there is not such a One, the Helper and Vindicator of meek fidelity, virtue has no sanction and well doing no recompense.”

HAVING A PROVIDENCE WITH A DESIGN- “Let us always keep us good thoughts of the divine providence, and believe that while we do well it will do well for us. And it did well for Ruth; for when she went out alone, without guide or companion, to glean, her hap was to light on the field of Boaz. She knew not whose field it was, nor had she any reason for going to that more than any other, and therefore it is said to be her hap; but Providence directed her steps to this field. God wisely orders small events; and many a great affair is brought about by a little turn, which seemed fortuitous to us, but was directed by Providence with design.” Matthew Henry

Go ahead and leave behind something that isn’t worth keeping, God will open up to you the highway of holiness.

THE GLORY OF GOD IN CHRIST

May 25, 2015

Heb. 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Paul said that Christ was the radiance, or the off-flash, of the glory of the Father. If anyone would know it would be the Apostle Paul. Paul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus, the brightness was so overwhelming he couldn’t see for three days. From that day on Paul was consumed with this love that he tasted in the glory of God seen in Christ. Christ is compared by Malachi to the beams of light that shine out from the sun. In Christ we see the Father. We see the Father’s love, His grace, His matchless wisdom, and His sovereign plan. Gazing at Christ brings us to the place David longed for, beholding the glory of the Lord. This is the place of salvation, healing, deliverance, and restoration of whatever sin has stolen from us. Matthew Henry had glimpsed this glory which is seen in his words.

“He was the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, This is a high and lofty description of the glorious Redeemer, this is an account of his personal excellency. He is, in person, the Son of God, the only-begotten Son of God, and as such he must have the same nature. The person of the Son is the glory of the Father, shining forth with a truly divine splendor. As the beams are effulgent emanations of the sun, the father and fountain of light, Jesus Christ in his person is God manifest in the flesh, he is light of light, the true Shechinah. The person of the Son is the true image and character of the person of the Father; being of the same nature, he must bear the same image and likeness. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the Father; for he hath the nature and perfections of God in him.”

This is what all of our hearts are crying for, the glory of God seen in the face of Christ. Here is the amazing thing, Christ is the word of the Father, this same radiance is shining brightly through His written word. Read His word today, you too may behold the glory of the Son.

SWEET SURRENDER 

May 24, 2015

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
John 3:3
What does it mean to be a Christian? For some, it’s based on their culture or the church they were raised in. For others, it is whether they prayed ‘the sinner’s prayer’ or not. Christianity is way more than a culture, attending a certain church or even ‘praying the prayer’. Just repeating a prayer does not qualify as conversion. 

Take me for example, I prayed the sinner’s prayer many, many times without a life change or a true conversion experience. It wasn’t until that one moment in time, the day Christ stepped into my life, that I experienced what Jesus called being born again. Have you been born again? If you have you would know, it is that moment in time where Christ become real and even irresistible in your life. When that happens, a new life begins. Rather than doing your own thing and asking the Lord to bless it, you begin to yield your life to the Holy Spirit. Here is how Matthew Henry described it. 
“Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before.”
This experience could be called SWEET SURRENDER. Rather than living like the rest of the goofed up world, you have had a total turn around. The unsaved person doesn’t get it. You find your joy in new things now. You love to read the Bible, talk about Jesus, go to prayer meetings, Bible studies and church services rather than clubbing and getting drunk. You still enjoy the normal fun activities in life, actually you enjoy them more, you have just discovered the secret of life. Life begins when we yield control to the Lord. So it’s more than just praying the prayer, it’s meeting a person that is more incredible than you ever dreamed possible. 

LITTLE DEAF BOY

May 23, 2015

Mark 7:32-35  And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.

I love the stories about the healing miracles of Jesus. He healed hurting people and restored them to life. The man in this story had probably never heard or spoken. To the Lord, he was still that little deaf boy. This is a perfect picture of our lives when we are away from the Lord. We can’t hear His voice and we are so bound up we can’t express ourselves. When He opens our ears our lives are filled with His sweetness and our tongues are loosed to sing His praises. Here are Matthew Henry’s words about this wonderful miracle.

“His case was sad. There were those that brought to him one that was deaf; some think, born deaf, and then he must be dumb of course… He was mogilalos (tongue tied); some think that he was quite dumb; others, that he could not speak but with great difficulty to himself, and so as scarcely to be understood by those that heard him. He was tongue-tied, so that he was perfectly unfit for conversation, and deprived both of the pleasure and of the profit of it; he had not the satisfaction either of hearing other people talk, or of telling his own mind. Let us take occasion from hence to give thanks to God for preserving to us the sense of hearing, especially that we may be capable of hearing the word of God; and the faculty of speech, especially that we may be capable of speaking God’s praises; and let us look with compassion upon those that are deaf or dumb, and treat them with great tenderness. They that brought this poor man to Christ..”

They brought this poor man to Christ. Have you come to Christ? You may say “I prayed the prayer”. This is more than a formula or words we recite, this is coming to the most magnificent of all beings. Let me ask again, have you come to Christ? If you have, surely your ears are open and your tongue is singing His praise.

REIGNING AS KINGS

May 22, 2015

I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

Ecclesiastes 10:7

We were created in the image of God and are intended to live as kings. Now don’t king me wrong, we are different kinds of kings than the ones you commonly find in this world. Just as our Lord said, “Our kingdom is not of this world”. What kind of kings are we? Well in starts by ruling over our own passions! As a result of the fall, everything seems to be turned upside down. We have been dominated by our own lust and carnal desires rather than walking in self control like a king. In Christ, we are not only forgiven but we are changed. We can live a different kind of life than the worldly kings do. We overcome the lusts of the flesh by revelation and by the power of theSpirit.

We see that our old life was crucified with Christ by revelation. We are potentially free from the bondage that has controlled us for far to long. By tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit what is legally ours by the cross, becomes experientially ours by the power of the Spirit. We put to death the deeds of the old life by the power of the Spirit. Here are some thoughts about this kingly life from Charles Spurgeon.

“Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and He therefore sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father.”

Just think about it, we are not only forgiven by the grace of God, we are changed to live a different kind of life. The life of God Himself lives in us, we are talking about a whole different quality of life. Instead of groveling with all of the fallen people in this world, living like animals rather than the royalty they were born to, we are living a life of purity empowered by the love of God. It doesn’t get any better than that.

HE IS MY JOY

May 21, 2015

Col 2:9,10. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

When we are born again we walk right into God’s fullness. No half measures here, we are blessed beyond comprehension; actually that will be the jest of eternity. We will explore the infinite nature of God; or in other words, we will search the boundless riches that are our possession in Christ. In this life, the Holy Spirit opens up to us the reality of this fullness. The question is this, how much of this goodness can you contain or appreciate in our current state? Even though we are filled with all fullness now, He must hold back our perception, these mortal bodies and brains can’t cope with His greatness. Charles Spurgeon is known as the prince of preachers. Check out his comments here and see if you agree. 

“The fathomless love of the Saviour’s heart is every drop of it ours; every sinew in the arm of might, every jewel in the crown of majesty, the immensity of divine knowledge, and the sternness of divine justice, all are ours, and shall be employed for us. The whole of Christ, in his adorable character as the Son of God, is by himself made over to us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, his knowledge our instruction, his power our protection, his justice our surety, his love our comfort, his mercy our solace, and his immutability our trust. He makes no reserve, but opens the recesses of the Mount of God and bids us dig in its mines for the hidden treasures. All, all, all are yours, saith he, be ye satisfied with favour and full of the goodness of the Lord. Oh! how sweet thus to behold Jesus, and to call upon him with the certain confidence that in seeking the interposition of his love or power, we are but asking for that which he has already faithfully promised.”
Here is the thing that the unsaved can never appreciate, it is Christ Himself that is our passion and our portion. The lost are not remotely interested. To the believer, He is amazing and irresistible. As Spurgeon says, He is our guide, our knowledge, our power, our justice, our comfort, our mercy, and our trust. But even more than all of that, HE IS MY JOY !!!!

DEAF AND BLIND

May 20, 2015

Acts 28:27 For this people’s heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed;

lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

and turn, and I would heal them.

I think a lot about the miracles in the ministry of Jesus. The ones that really stand out to me are the deaf and the blind. Each of these miracles speak to us of a spiritual condition that also needs the miracle power of the Lord. Think about the little deaf boy that Jesus healed. He had never heard his mother’s comforting voice. He had never felt the strength that came from his father’s words. He had never heard the sounds of the laughter of the other children; he had lived in a world of silence. That is the condition that we are all born with (and Christians tend to slip into), spiritual deafness. Our ears are deaf to the sounds of heaven all around us. It is so easy to be distracted by all the activity screaming for our attention and miss the beauty of God. We hear the noise of the radio and television, the sounds of stress and anger, and the distractions of our carnal appetites and miss the sounds of heaven. His melody is in the wind, the birds, and the sounds of creation all around us. His word is loudest in His written word. Only by the touch of heaven can we hear His powerful voice. In His word we find strength, mercy, encouragement, correction, and guidance. When our ears are healed, we are flooded with His beautiful voice.

The other spiritual condition is blindness. We are tempted to only look at the glitter and the attraction of this present world and miss the light of God shining all around us.  We see Him in His creation, in the Savior Himself, and in His work of redemption. When the amazing grace of God opens our eyes we see His artistry. We see it in His creatures and in the beautiful world He has made for us. We see His amazing grace in the life and ministry of Jesus. He is altogether lovely. Life flows out from Him and changes everything He touches. We see His beauty in the work of redemption. All of us who were bound and lost in our sins have been changed. This is the greatest picture of God’s work; His beauty seen in fallen, redeemed man. All of us were bound in a hopeless condition. Like the blind and deaf in the gospels, we couldn’t fix ourselves. He came and with one touch our lives are flooded with the music and beauty of the kingdom of God.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 412 other followers