God’s Character


Psalm 103 is a good example of David’s poetry which states that God’s character is always good. In the very first line he writes, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name”. David is not saying that he was going to bless the Lord. What he wrote and said was that he would bless the Lord with all of himself! Physically, spiritually and emotionally he would praise and worship the Lord with every fiber of his being.

God desires the praise and worship of His children but not because He can’t be satisfied with us because we are His children. He desires our praise and worship because of His mercy that He extends to each of us every day. If God did not bless us with our breath and our life each day then we would either be with Him or in hell, depending upon our belief in Jesus for our salvation. God has specific jobs for each of us as believers and we are to seek His wisdom in His Word to find those jobs. It isn’t listed on page 22 in the third paragraph but when you read His Word you can understand, with the Holy Spirit’s help, what God requires of each of us.

He requires obedience to His Word. Of course, the New Testament is our contract because most of the Old Testament is actually sent to the Jewish people. The promises found in the Old Testament are still relevant to us because of the prophecies which are still going to be fulfilled and the promises are partially contained within those prophecies. Each covenant in the Bible explains and confirms the other so you can’t just read the New Testament without the Old Testament. They both are necessary because the whole Bible is God’s inspired Word. He gave it to mankind so that we could learn from His wisdom if we will only read it and do what it says. 

In verse 12 of Psalm 103, David writes something which many of us have heard but maybe never knew exactly where it came from. Verse 12 says: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us”. When we pray for God’s forgiveness for something that we have done or something that we said, He puts that sin and its consequences away from us just as David says “as far as the east is from the west”. It is completely gone! God doesn’t place it in a box to be brought out later to torment us because when He sees that it is covered by Jesus’ blood it is forgotten and remembered no more.

That doesn’t mean that we forget it because our memories and our guilt are still present here and now and of course Satan will bring it up and beat us with it as well. So we can’t forget it easily but God has. God’s mercy is everlasting and He grants this to each of us who believe in Jesus for salvation. We don’t have to earn it or pay for it or anything like that. We just have to believe in Jesus and ask for forgiveness in His name. Then we need to walk away from that sin or behavior and never visit it again. That is the hard part for us because sometimes our sin involves something that we really like to do, but we should ask for His strength to stay away from it. One day at a time.

Life is not easy like most people think it is and especially for Christians who are trying to live and walk on the pathway leading to heaven. It is narrow and it has thorns and stones which we may trip on. We can look around from this path and see the things that were our problems before and Satan will make them look so tempting trying to get us to get off of the pathway. That is where prayer for each day comes in handy. Thank God each day that you wake up so that you can take His message to others, even if it is only one person that you tell. They may be the person that you are the only contact with for God that they will have and by saying something about God or your salvation God may use it to draw them to Himself.

Darkness closing in…


Many people, it seems, have problems with depression and fear. You hear about suicides among Veterans and police and other service people like EMT’s and firefighters. Why does this happen? Is it because of the jobs that they have and the things which they see on a daily basis? In part, that is it. I worked as an EMT/Firefighter for a total of ten years. Not very long I know, but the things that I saw and the people that you come into contact with will bring you down. You can’t let it get to you while you are on the job so you learn to compartmentalize it and just push it away until the job is done. But…when the shift is over and you go home, that is when the enormity of your feelings about what you saw and had to deal with comes crashing down.

I’ve never really talked about this to anyone and it has been almost thirty years since I got out of being an EMT/Firefighter. But from what I understand the trauma and the stress that I experienced during those years never really goes away. For years I would still have dreams about my old job and wake up sweating in the night for no apparent reason. I could hear, in my mind, the siren from the ambulance or the fire truck even when there wasn’t one around. The different types of death from suicide and murder and car accidents and fire…you never forget them entirely. Some days it comes back so hard until I just feel like screaming at the top of my lungs. But even if I do, these images never go away.

The worst part of this is that you can’t sit and talk to someone about this. Nobody would understand unless you could sit and talk with another person who worked with you in the same type of service. Even then, they really don’t want to relive it either so usually you both just stop talking and change the subject or get a beer or something. Since I am a pastor now I have to shove these things away from my life and my work because nobody in the congregation would understand either. I have never talked about this with my family either just because it is something that they wouldn’t understand.

This is the reason that I am writing it here. As a bit of therapy for myself and to let others know that we feel deeply about what we have experienced. So deeply that even after thirty years it still comes back to haunt our minds and our feelings. Even now my heart is picking up speed just writing this.

I know that God can and will get me through this because He has done so in the past. I am asking all of you who read this to please sit with someone who works in a service job like I’ve mentioned. Just talk to them about anything or nothing. If they like to fish, take them fishing. But be there for them if you can. Because we have days which most people cannot understand and feelings which are hard to express. Please pray for me today and if you know anyone who was in the military or police or fire service, pray for them too. The suicide rate for them is much higher than for the rest of the population.

Psalm 51 is a good read for days like this.

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

(2 Samuel 12:1-12)

1{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.

2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4Against 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.

5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.King James Bible

I’ve been reading…


Lately, I’ve been reading a couple of good books. One which was written by many different authors over thousands of years. God’s Word. The Bible. The other book is one by a brother in Christ by the name of Phil Robertson called “The Theft of America’s Soul“. I am putting the link here not because I get anything from it but because it is a good book and it is one that needs to be read by many Americans, whether they are Christian, Democrat, Republican, liberal or whatever they are calling themselves these days.

Both of these books point us toward our Savior, Jesus Christ, and He is the only answer to our world’s problems. You can agree with me or not, but our founding fathers knew it and most of America has either forgotten it or they just don’t want to hear it anymore. Life in the time which we are living in today is not hard like it was many years ago. For some, it may be, but for most in America, their lives would be considered luxurious compared to the living conditions in China or North Korea or in many places in Africa. There are many other places where life is tough in more ways than any of us know about but in reality, we have it good here.

Why is it that people are so much against our laws and the Bible on which most of those laws are based on? In the last decade, I’ve noticed that many who live here would rather turn America into a socialist country or a Communist country than to be proud of the Democratic Republic we are supposed to be!

The Christian principles which guided our country for so many years have been torn apart in the last three decades or so. America isn’t the same country now that my parents and grandparents grew up in. The principles which God placed in our hearts and in His Word are the only principles which will bring our world, not just America, back from the edge of destruction. I ask you to please pray that our country and many others that claim to be Christian will turn back to God and His principles before it is too late.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

 

Seeking Jesus


Are you seeking to know Jesus?

There are so many things which the Bible tells us about God and His love for us, and yet those bits of information aren’t enough. We seem to see some things about Him in the Bible but many of them actually take a great amount of faith in order for us to truly believe them. So…why don’t we believe these words considering they are the Word of God given to mankind?

I believe that we can’t understand the ideas and the word pictures about God because much of it is too fantastic for our minds to comprehend. I mean, a bush which is burning which doesn’t burn? A pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day, parting the Red Sea so that Israel can cross on the dry ground, stopping the sun and the moon so that they can defeat their enemies when they are taking the Promised Land…all of these miraculous things are hard for modern man to believe without actually seeing them happen.

But consider that God cannot lie and if you have faith that God is truthful and just in all of His ways and these miracles make sense. He had to do some fantastic and wonderful things in order for the children of Israel to see and understand that He was taking care of them like He said He would. Today it is hard for me to understand how they could see these things and know that they happened and then turn away from worshipping God to worship idols. I just don’t get it.

I mean mortal man creates an idol out of molten silver or gold or wood and then he bows to it as if it was a god? It is a piece of metal or a carved piece of wood for goodness sake!! How can you possibly think that this thing is your god??!

The manna in the desert and the water which came from a rock to take care of the whole nation of Israel in the desert..just those two miracles would be enough to convince me!

Satan has a way of blinding us to God’s Truth and making our mind only see part of what is going on which brings us to the point of questioning God and His love for us. The church today is losing many to this phenomenon as we speak. While there are still people who are following Jesus and giving their hearts to Him, many more are walking out of the church and decide to never return.

God’s Word tells us that there will be a falling away of the faithful when the time is getting close to the Tribulation and it seems to be happening even now. So how much longer does the world have? I don’t know. I am not going to try to spin some lie about the time and the day because God doesn’t tell us, in His Word and we aren’t supposed to know ahead of the time anyway.

My point is this: we need to be telling people about Jesus and what He has done for us and for them. God loves us which is why Jesus came to pay our price of the sin debt which all of us have. We are not righteous enough to gain entrance into Heaven without Jesus and more people need to know that…and soon!1536161349743_image.jpg