Giving thanks unto God – Psalms

For God has done such incredible things.

We read In Zechariah 12:1b
“Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:”

Isn’t that awesome how in the same sentence the vastness of space with all its incredible size, galaxies and mysterious along with the intricate planning and design that keeps life and the earth’s foundation stable is compared to our human spirit which is built wonderfully and for eternity?

Let’s be grateful, thankful and love our wonderful Creator and Sustainer.

Holy fear is healthy and wise

Pondering Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
“At the end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

My take: Solomon should know. Being raised up under Israel’s greatest King (David), he had a 1st hand account of the rise and fall and rise of this outstanding man of God. After all, Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba. I find it amazing how God can use sin, failure and our own bloody mistakes and still accomplishes His will and wonder. He grants us free will and in spite of our often running off the road, he can turn the crash into something amazing. Beauty from ashes. Look at the cross! No greater example.

There is no other God like Him!

Solomon, after being anointed King, remained humble. God himself rewarded Solomon and asked what he wanted. Solomon was very profound and asked for wisdom to be a good ruler. God therefore gave him wisdom and then some. Solomon became the wisest and richest person to date and perhaps in all history. So after all his amazing accomplishments and lavish life, he distills it all that right here in this verse: Fear God and keep His commandments!

Unfortunately, Solomon didn’t heed his own advice totally and we definitely learn more isn’t always better yet there is a lot we can learn from this man.

By reading Proverbs, Psalms and other writings by David and Solomon there is this consistent key; Fear God. This means to respect and honor Him. To take heed of His wishes and authority. Not to take His grace, patience and blessings for granted.

And we are to keep His commandments dutifully. Not when it feels convenient but with all diligence and earnestness. Back in the O.T., these commandments we quite extensive and laborious. Jesus simplified and focused these commands.

In 1 John 5:3 we read, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

The closer we abide in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, the more this becomes our very nature.

Jesus summed it up in Matthew 22:37-40. “And He (Jesus) said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

No doubt, in our own human strength and personal perspective, this is impossible. I prove that to my self all too often and imagine you do as well. But if we understand our salvation was (or can be) of grace and what our Leader wants and demands, then we are on the right road. Amen? Amen!

My prayer: Lord, you know my heart is inclined to wander. Direct it to the center of Your will. Empower my will to be like thine. Help me to love thee will all my heart, soul, and mind! And to pay that forward each and every day!

Pondering Psalms 119:11

Pondering Psalms 119:11
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

My take: Man becomes what he thinks about. That is an enourmous thought, opportunity and responsibility. Junk in, junk out…good in, good out.

What is it that you treasure?

God tells us the wisdom found within His Word is more valuable than anything physical. Do you buy that?

And today it is free but far from cheap. We are so blessed but its sad that its so often ignored, dissmissed, belittled and squandered. Its opponents are many yet its power and preemminance go unchallenged.

Let’s be like David and store the Word up in our hearts. Not just intellectual knowledge but a personal guide and fine filter. Much like a computer’s anti-virus and a vehicle’s GPS. We have the ability to program our subconscious mind for amazing tasks. Its tough being me and I certainly need every resource I can muster to win and hope that I might not sin.

My prayer: Help me to be ALL I can by focusing, meditating and memorizing Your Holy Book.

God is for us

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 ESV

RELEVANT SCRIPTURES

Psalm 118:6
The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?

Isaiah 8:10
“Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; State a proposal, but it will not stand, For God is with us.”

Isaiah 41:10
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Matthew 1:23
“Behold! The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means, “God with us”).

SELECT COMMENTARY

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
What shall we then say to these things? Either to these afflictions, shall we murmur and repine at them? no, since they work together for our good, and are not to be compared with our future glory, which is certain; for if we suffer with, and for Christ, we shall be glorified together: or to these blessings just now mentioned, as the foreknowledge of God, divine predestination, effectual calling, free justification, and eternal glorification, what can be said to these? nothing can be added to them, they are a complete set of blessings, wanting nothing; nor can the greatness of them be fully expressed, or the freeness of God’s grace displayed in them, sufficiently declared: what remains for us to do, but to be thankful for them, and glory in them? or what can be said “against” them? nothing at all, they cannot be contradicted or gainsaid; they are true and faithful sayings; they can never be made void, and of no effect, by hell or earth; nor ought our unbelieving hearts to have anything to say against interest in them: or what is to be said, or inferred “from” them? why, the free, sovereign, unchangeable, and everlasting love of God, in providing and bestowing such benefits; and the certainty of salvation, which is infallibly secured hereby:

if God be for us; or, “seeing he is for us”, has an affection for us, which appears from the gift of himself, Son, and Spirit, and all the blessings of grace and glory; and is on our side: as that he is on the side of his people, is evident from his preservation of them from the evils of the world and their own corruptions; from the supports he gives them under afflictions and temptations; from his carrying on the work of grace upon them, notwithstanding all the opposition made unto it; and from their safety and security they enjoy by him, notwithstanding the power of their enemies; he is so for them, and on their side, as that he will certainly save them. This he has determined to do, he has sent his Son to obtain salvation for them, his Spirit to apply it to them, and keeps them by his power to the full enjoyment of it: and since this is the case,

who can be against us? none can be against them. There are some that cannot possibly be against them; if Jehovah the Father is not against them, the Son cannot be against them, nor the Spirit; good angels cannot be against them, so far from it, that they rejoice at their good, minister to them, and are a guard about them; the law cannot be against them, because it is fulfilled in them; nor justice, because it is satisfied, and all its demands answered: and though there may be some who may be against them, and oppose themselves to them, yet their opposition is to no purpose; they will never prevail over them to their ruin and destruction; as neither sin, nor Satan, nor the world, nor death itself.

MY PONDERING

These are deep and amazing questions. What is God for?

The Bible tells us directly, in spite of our biases. Nature reflects to us, despite her marring. Our conscience whispers to our souls while the noise of life carries on.

Often times what is hard is for our good because God is that awesome. Only He can turn the frown upside down for eternity. I mean just look at the Cross. Despicable and brutal yet wonderful and loving.

Paul answered this question for us so eloquently in one of my favorite verses, just 3 prior to the passage at hand, Romans 8:28; And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

If we have faith and believe that, it is so. If we don’t, it is not…at least, yet.

Ultimately, Satan is crushed. Jesus reigns on Earth without the angst of sin and our broken relationship is fully mended. Our perseverance is rewarded. Our current hard circumstances and momentary afflictions will seem like nothing when our eternal reality is revealed. Our reward is none other than Jesus. To be like Him and truly know Him. Yes, God is for us. Hang on brothers and sisters, for He is holding us while the preparation is underway.

MY PRAYER
Lord, some of the concepts in Your word are truly mind blowing. Help me truly take hold and enjoy the ride of life knowing deep down that as long as I respond to Your love with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength while trusting Your Spirit and Jesus’s mighty work to bridge the gap, my lot is sure and secure for Your Word says so. Amen and amen.