When the troubles and afflictions of every day life come upon us, we do not need to flee to drugs, alcohol, and illicit sex relations and unholy and ungodly means to find temporary comfort and solutions for our problems. God has provided for us a perpetual vacation resort, a quiet place where unto we can meet and abide with him, and find the solutions and rest from all our problems.
We need to teach the coming generations to dwell in the secret place of the most high God, and to make him their continual habitation.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shalt be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation.” Psalm 91: 1-9.
“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalm 86: 5.
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. The Lord is a strong hold in the time of trouble.
The goodness of God leadeth to repentance.
“Good and upright is the Lord, therefore will he teach sinners in the way.”Psalm 25: 8.
“He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”Psalm 33: 5.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8.
“ The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble: and he knoweth them that trust him.” NA 1:7.
“And he said unto him, why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Math 19:17.
“Or despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Rom 11: 22.
God is good and not willing that any should perish. God is ever ready to forgive and restore all who will call unto him in faith and receive his son, the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. God is always listening to hear our faintest whisper when we call out to him in times of trouble and need. He will never turn away any who sincerely believe and trust him because he loves all his dear children. Trust him today. God is good indeed!
Thought For Today- February 20 - Judgment or Mercy, Which Will It Be?
Thought For Today – February 20
Judgment Or Mercy, Which Will It Be?
Are you one among those who advocate the removal of the ten commandments from public view, or one who would ban prayer during our public events and educational systems? Are you one of those who denies the existence of almighty God, and consequently are lost, and without hope, ether in this world or the next? If you are a member of this group, I, as a servant of Almighty God, am pressed to warn you of the consequences of your denial of one who loves you with an everlasting love, and desires your eternal salvation and future welfare.
I know that the Lord God Jehovah – the Lord Jesus Christ exists and lives today because of all that he has bestowed upon me and my family in love, mercy, and salvation. God is merciful, and extends his love and mercy to all who will respond and receive him; however, God is also a righteous judge, and will bring final judgment upon all those who reject and deny him.
As God warned his people Israel, through the prophet Isaiah many centuries ago, about that which would become of them if they continued in their sinful ways, I must warn you today that God will certainly bring righteous judgment on all those who spurn his words of warning and reject his offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. Listen to that which he said to Israel, and that which he is saying to all of us today.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust! Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the holy one of Israel. Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them and hath smitten them; and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets, for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” Isaiah 4: 20-25.
If this should be all that you have to look forward to because of your unbelief, why not recognize God's offer of love and mercy before it is too late, and receive Christ as your savior today. He will not turn you away if you sincerely repent and receive him by faith. May God be gracious unto you!
What do we think about throughout the day? What do we think about ourselves? What do we think about others? What do we think and meditate about God? We are instructed by God not to think of ourselves and others more highly than we ought to think.
Our first thoughts ought to be of God, and our meditations ought to be of him and of his majestic glory over all things. “Know therefore this day, and consider in thine heart, that the Lord, he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath. There is none else.” Deut 4: 39.
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12: 3.
Think of the loving kindness of the Lord, and the daily graces he bestows upon us.
“We have thought of thy loving kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.” Psalm 48: 9.
When we see ourselves as God sees us, and meditate on our own ways, and find ourselves to be wanting, we need to turn our thoughts to the ways of God and his testimonies. “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.” Psalm 119: 59.
“The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.” Prov 12:5.
Our thoughts ought to be focused upon truth, honesty, purity, justice, and all that is beautiful and good. "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8.
"I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice;and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: My sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will he be favorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever? Doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah And I said, this is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most high. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings." Psalm 77: 1-12.
The psalmist seemed to be going through a time of physical suffering as well as a time when it seemed to him that God may have forgotten him and was far off - "Will The Lord Cast off forever?" - "Will he be favorable no more?" - Every time we find ourselves in a similar situation which seems hopeless and we become fearful we have a tendency to ask the same questions. Where is God? Has he forgotten us? These are the times when we need to remember, as the psalmist did, the former times when it seemed that God was pouring out an abundance of blessings upon us and meeting our every need. God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He always keeps his promises to save us and to provide for our daily requirements. It is we who backslide and fall away from fellowship with him and become faithless. We need to cry out to God and ask forgiveness for our backsliding and lack of faith, We need to count all our past blessings and remember the things that Jesus told us - That if we will confess our sins he will forgive our sins and restore our fellowship with God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. God hears and answers our prayers. We need only to believe.
From the moment we awake each morning until we close our eyes in sleep each night, we need to be in constant prayer and fellowship with God our Father. Whenever we are contemplating our activities and plans for the day, it is wise and prudent for us to draw close to God to determine what his plans for us might be.
“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.” Psalm 23: 28.
When king Saul was making ready his army to attack the Philistines and utterly destroy them, he was advised by the priest to first draw nigh unto God for advice and direction,
“And Saul said, let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, let us draw near hither unto God. And Saul asked counsel of God, shall I go down after the Philistines? Wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.” 1 Samuel 14: 36,37.
In Saul's time, under the law, Saul did not have direct individual access to the presence of God to seek his counsel. Only the priests had direct access into the throne room of almighty
God. Saul was required to offer sacrifice and inquiry through the priesthood. Praise God! We today are considered by God to be kings and priests as individuals, and we have direct access to God our Father through our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our high priest forever seated at the right hand of God making intercession for us.
“And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest , who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” Hebrews 7: 15-19.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4: 7,8.
“ Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious named for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen!” Psalm 72: 18, 19.
Our primary purpose on earth is to glorify God. We are told in the scriptures that we are to glorify God at all times, but how shall we glorify him at all times?
We glorify him by our praise of him and all his wondrous works. He is worthy of all adoration and praise. We are told that God inhabits the praise of his people.
“Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.” Psalm 22: 23.
We glorify God by our good works. Our good works alone will never gain us entrance into the presence of God and heaven, but once we have been justified by our faith in the finished work of the sacrifice of Christ, our good works ought to follow as a result of our gratitude and desire to glorify God.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Psalm 5: 16.
By spreading the good news of the gospel and winning souls to Christ, and bringing forth fruit will bring glory to God when men and women, boys and girls, and young people behold his power to redeem and save the lost.
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit: ye shall be my disciples.” John 15: 8.
By spiritual unity, one with another, we glorify God. All of us who claim to be the children of God ought to be bonded together with one spirit in the truth and things of God with no contentions between us.
“That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Romans 15: 6,7.
We glorify God when we present our bodies to God as a reasonable sacrifice to be used by God to perform his work and fulfill his purposes here on earth.
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” Romans 6: 19,20.
Here are some examples of praising God to glorify him:
“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29: 11,12,13
'”And one cried unto another, and said, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6: 3.
“Insomuch that the multitudes wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel.” Matthew 15:31.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11.
“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Rev 15: 4.
“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” Rev 19: 1,2.
Trust; delight; commit; rest; - we are admonished to trust, delight, commit, and rest In the Lord, and cease from anger. If we truly trust in the Lord and do good, we shall be secure and our needs will be met. When we delight in the Lord he shall give us the desires of our heart – that is- the things that we so greatly desire and long for will be coming from from God, and he will cause our desires to become reality.
If we commit ourselves to him he will bring it to pass We can rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him to bring to pass all that which is good for us and will bring glory to himself. We can have perfect peace when we cease from anger and forsake wrath, and harbor no thoughts of doing evil.
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 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 o pass. Cease from angers, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” Psalm 37: 1-9.
To have a rebellious spirit against God and his chain of authority on earth is like being bound with chains, and being left alone In the wilderness where there is no water and food. The bible tells us that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Rebellion against God and his word is the root cause of all the troubles in the world. When God's laws and instructions are strictly obeyed there is peace and harmony In our individual lives, our homes and families, our schools and churches, and our nation.
“God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” Psalm 68: 6.
Are you cast down this morning and depressed? Are you weary and discouraged? Why should we be discouraged when we have such a great inheritance in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gave himself for us so that we might have and enjoy life, and have it more abundantly?
We are alive. We have the hope and promise of eternal life with God in paradise. We live in America where we are free, (so far), to worship as we please. We have a wonderful Savior who is our lawyer and advocate in heaven. We have food, clothing, and shelter, and many other creature comforts to make our lives easier.
If we are Christians, we should never allow ourselves to be cast down and depressed. We should be the happiest, and most joyful people on earth because we have been redeemed and set free and have become the children of almighty God who will forever love and care for his children. Let us count our blessings instead of our problems this morning and go on our way rejoicing.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 43: 5.
This is the day that the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it.