What IF …

When was the last time you looked back a situation and said, “What if… ?”

From the time we’re very young we start having ‘regrets’. We start thinking what if I had not said that. What if I had not done that. What if I had chosen something different. Regret is one of the most common, negative feelings human beings experience.

Everyone has regrets!  Psalm 51 is a prayer about David’s regret over adultery and murder.  And what about Peter?  When he realized what he had done he went away and wept bitterly, Luke 22:61-62. (Can you even imagine what Jesus’ long glance did to him?)

The good thing about having regret is it shows we’re paying attention to our shortcomings, yes, even our sins.  It’s knowing that something went wrong, something’s not right.  Thinking what could I have done instead of what I did prepares us for the next time the situation occurs.

But then…  Get rid of it!  Take it to the cross and leave it there.  Quit mulling over it and over it and over it…  (satan loves that because it takes our focus off Jesus).  Pray David’s prayer:

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

(Click on the picture above to hear Keith Green’s beautiful rendition of this prayer.)

I’m joining many others at 5-Minute Friday.  Join us there!

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 3

David wrote Psalm 3 during a time of great persecution.  His confidence in the LORD is very evident in this Psalm.  He was able be courageous and strong because He knew the Word and the promises in it.

LORD, I have so many enemies that are against me.  They are saying You will not deliver me.  I know better than that.  You are my shield, my glory, the One who lifts me Peaceup.  When I call out to You, wonder of all wonders, You answer from Your home on high.

When I rest, You sustain me and keep me safe.  Even though it feels like thousands are attacking from every side I will not fear.  You will deliver me by giving them a punch in the jaw.

From You comes deliverance and blessings on your people. (My personal transliteration of Psalm 3.)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Psalm 8

Majesty of God

Let’s look at another of David’s Songs.  This one is dedicated to the director of music.  That would lead me to think that it was either accompanied by instruments of the time or the words were set to music for use during worship.

This Psalm, gives me great peace when I need to be calmed down.  Just knowing that God is in control makes life a little easier.

PSALM 8

thO LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.

New lifeFrom the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Written_in_the_StarsWhen I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and stars, which You have set in place,

ManWhat is man that Your are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

crownYou made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

earthYou made him ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet;

1565-Pieter-Bruegel-the-Elder-The-Re-entry-of-the-Herds-autumn-Detail-the-herdAll flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

tetragrammatonO LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

O Lord, mighty, majestic, all-powerful and all-knowing.  Hear our prayers and praises.  Forgive our pettiness and selfishness.  Heal and restore as only You can.  Help us all to love as You love.  I lift this prayer before the Throne in Jesus’ Precious and Holy name.

Fear is …

Ray and I went to see After Earth this weekend.  It was not well reviewed by the critics but we’ve found many good to great movies by not paying attention to those who think it’s their job to tear everything down.   The story line is about a father and son relationship.  It’s about how to overcome fear and totally depend on someone who knows and loves you.  I was delighted and amazed to see so many Bible ‘threads’ in a 2 hour space.  Biblical themes like honor your father and mother,  covered and protected by the wings of an eagle, do exactly what the Father says and you will succeed, and FEAR NOT.

English: There is no fear, until we make it up.

English: There is no fear, until we make it up. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to look at this concept of fear not today.  Did you know these words are repeated 365 times in the Word.  That’s not a coincidence.  God knows this world is a fearful and fearsome place.  He knows that every day comes with it’s own circumstances and challenges and that these can produce fear in us.  In Psalm 23 David says, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil…”  How can he say that with such trust?  He knows the One who protects, defends and loves.  He knows God’s characteristics.  He knows the One and Only will not let him down.

Fear is an emotional reaction to an unknown result.  It can paralyze us.  It can cause us to want to hide.  It can keep us from realizing our Kingdom purpose.  It can make us bitter and mean.  IF WE LET IT!

When God says FEAR NOT!  He’s saying quit looking at what could be and look at what is.  He’s saying I’m right here, hold on, look up, you can count on Me.

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  It does not say I can do this alone,  it says depend on ME!  From Genesis to Revelation there is constant proof that when we depend on God we have nothing to fear.  He has our back (our front, our side, all that we can and can’t see).  FEAR NOT!

Worship Him with music!    He Will Make A Way

Ah, Lord, God, I am counting on You.  Create in me a spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control.  Whenever I enter the valley of fear shine Your light on me.  Make it so, Lord!

Always Forgiven!

ResurrectionWE CANNOT OUT-SIN HIS FORGIVENESS!!!!

For Heaven’s sake don’t even think that I would ever suggest even trying.  One of the ways we get ever closer to Jesus likeness is our whole-hearted desire not to sin.  But we are human and we are sinful and that’s something we simply can’t ignore!

In Psalm 103:2-3 David tells us that we are not to forget His benefits and one of these is the forgiveness of sin.  For me, David’s words speak mountains of truth about forgiveness.  His story helps us understand that even the one (David) who had a Heart like His could and would sin!  David depended on God’s forgiveness, asked for it and it was given. Fully!

God is the God of the second, third, forth….chance.  Take a look at Jonah 1:1-3.  God told him to go to Ninevah and preach against its wickedness.  Jonah tried to run away and had the adventure and epiphiny of his life.  (Yes, my God is the Only One who could keep a man alive in the ‘belly of a whale’!)  Jonah 3:1 says the LORD spoke to him a second time and said go to Ninevah and proclaim the wickedness of the Ninevites.  Jonah obeyed!  God will forgive our disobedience but does expect to eventually obey.

Jesus tells us clearly in Matthew 6:14-15 that we must forgive others when they sin against us.  If we don’t the consequence is to big to imagine…the Father will not forgive us.  We are to be the picture of God to those around us.  If there is no way to out-sin God’s forgiveness then there is no sin of another that we can’t forgive.

Mighty, Awesome, Forgiving LORD!  Forgive my sins, the ones I know and the ones I don’t.  Give me Your super-natural ability to forgive those who have and will sin against me in some way.  Nurture in me a heart of forgiveness!  Make it so!!!

Colorful Worship

I discovered that God is very explicit about the colors He wanted used to decorate the Tabernacle while reading Exodus 26.  He told Moses to use blue, purple and scarlet.  I began to wonder why these colors?  What is important about them?

The colors are used for several articles in the tabernacle: the curtain – Ex. 26:1, the drape that separates the Holy of Holies from the rest of the tabernacle – Ex. 26:31, the High Priest ephod – Ex. 28:15, are only a few examples.

tzitzitThere is no mention of what the colors stood for but there could be a direct relationship to the idea that Jesus is fully God and fully man.  (According to Jewish scholars.) Blue always represents Yahweh.  In the tzitzit, the prayer shawl, there is a blue thread to symbolize God and His Commandments.  There is also a scarlet thread to symbolize mankind.  Woven between these colors is purple which is a combination of the primary colors – red and blue.  God (blue) and man (red) were separated by the sin in the Garden of Eden.  God never intended to leave it that way.  His plan was to have a go-between to restore the fellowship between Himself and His creation.  The go-between would be all God (blue) and all man (red), our Jesus (purple).

The colors also represent other aspects of the Judeo-Christian culture.  Holy of HoliesPurple is the color of royalty.  Jesus is the King of the Kingdom and would rightfully wear a purple robe.     It is also the color of the Royal Priesthood. Blue is the color of God’s chosen people dating back to the time of David.  The restored throne of David is described in Ezekial 1:26 as being made of sapphire (blue stone).  Red is a primary color and can not be made from any other color(s).  It is interesting that the Hebrew root word for Adam is oudem which means red clay.   Red symbolizes atonement, sacrifice, life, death, and flesh.  

I found it interesting to learn what these colors may mean.  I do not intend this to be any more than interesting information that may make your study of the Word more informative.

Heavenly Father, what a heritage You have provided for us.  Help us to remember, in whatever way necessary, that You alone are God.  Make it so!

 

 

Psalm 86

 
Psalm 86 is sub-titled ‘A Prayer of David’ in my Bible. Through prayer and focusing on God’s love David could put those who were tormenting him in the right perspective. Praying this psalm in my own words was very enlightening. Enjoy!
 
 
Oh, LORD, bend your ear down to earth so I can speak my needs directly into it.I trust you to keep me safe because You are my God.I send prayers to You 24/7. Hear and grant them.Help me find gladness in serving You.Many call upon You and depend on Your goodness, forgiveness and constant love.Hear my prayer and plea for mercy.When I am in trouble I come to You for the answer.Your works stand out, You are unique.Your creation worships You.You are the One and Only.Instruct me in Your ways. I am in awe of You.Thank You for being my God. I give You all the glory.Your great love sustains me. You are my Deliverer.Those who do not follow You have risen against me.Show Your mercy and grace, Your ‘always there’ love and faithfulness.

Give me strength and keep me safe.

Let those who hate You be shamed because You are my Helper and Comforter.

Heavenly Father, make it so!

Grab On

“Is my Master satisfied with me?” Does everything I think, do, and say reflect my El Elyon (Most High God) to the world around me?

How I wish I could say yes. Unfortunately we fall into the ‘sin pit’ to easily. However, by reading and studying His Word (to know Him), praying (keeping open the lines of communication with Him), and worshipping (putting our focus on Him) we are able to focus on Him and not on whatever we let put us in the pit in the first place. 

Psalm 60:2 tells us, “Save us and help us with Your right hand, that those You love may be delivered.”David knew God so well that he could depend Him and know without question that God would come to his rescue. We, too, can reach up and grab the hand that is always there to pull us out. Grab on!!!

My El Elyon,  Creator of all that is, was, and is to come give us the courage to grab on…not just when we should but because we can.  Open our hearts to Your Word, our souls to worship, and our thoughts to constant communication,  with You.  I lift this request in the Precious Name of Jesus      Make it so!

STAYING FOCUSED

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osma...

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”

But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep.  When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.

“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”

And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.

I SAMUEL 17:33-37, 50 (NASB), HOLY BIBLE

Take a close look at this story.  David was so sure of his faith in God that he could disobey King Saul’s order not to go against the Philistine.  David had life experiences with lions and bears and had known God’s protection.  David’s courage came directly from God Himself because He knew his heart.  David knew God and knew God’s will in this situation would be done.

Basically, David never took his eyes off God during the battle.  There was a problem (later in his life) only when he chose to see through eyes that were selfish and sinful.   Faith is keeping our eyes on God, and staying open and aware of His desires, even when we don’t think He’s looking.  He’s always looking…He never Blinks. 

Heavenly Father give me faith and courage like David’s.  Let me keep my eyes on You at all times.  Make it so, Lord!

Personally His

 As humans we tend to be groupies.  Everything is more acceptable in a group.  Conformity is part of the human condition.  Our thoughts begin to change when we come to the realization that we are personally acceptable and accountable to God.  We worship in groups but often find it difficult to worship alone.  We pray in groups but may experience some anxiety when asked to be the leading voice.  We believe that Jesus died for us as a group of sinners but find it difficult to believe that we sin personally.  I believe if I were the only person on earth Jesus would have still died for just me.

When we read John 3:16-17 we group ourselves as part of the world (and we are).  Look at John 3:18.  The ‘voice’ changes and becomes more personal, saying  ‘whoever…’  At this point it becomes a very personal choice.  Either I believe and reap the blessings of personal belief or I deny and am condemned.

David, a man after God’s own heart, had more than a bit to say in his writings about a personal relationship with God. Look at Psalm 40:1-3. 

I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.     David had it figured out.  He knew the Lord personally and with that knew He would answer.   Verses 2 and 3 tell us what God did for him.  The end of verse 3 gives us reason to rejoice.  David knew he wasn’t the only one but many more individual believers would see that God insures our safety personally.  The Message says this so well.  More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.

Oh, how He loves you and me!

Heavenly Father, give us the desire and courage to abandon ourselves personally to You.  Help us know and understand Your personal love for each of us.  Let us go and tell others they can have the same thing.  Send Your blessing on us.  I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of Jesus.  Make it so!