logo

"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

Posts categorized Wednesday Evenings

post

Personal Revival in Psalm 119: God’s love, word and ways

Personal Revival in Psalm 119

God’s love, His Word and His Ways

Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O Lord, according to your justice give me life.  119:149

The Psalmist knows of God’s steadfast love.

  • The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands,[a] forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”  Exodus 34:5-7
  • 11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
    12 You stretched out your right hand;
    the earth swallowed them. 13 “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.  Exodus 15:11-13
  • “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.
  • 12 “And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. 13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. 15 And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you.16 And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.  Deuteronomy 7:6-16

Based upon God’s steadfast love, the Psalmist requests God to hear his voice.

  • O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you[a] and watch.  Psalm 5:3
  • In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6
  • Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.  Psalm 28:2
  • Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:17
  • But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.  Psalm 66:19

Assured God hears his voice, David makes a twofold petition for personal revival (depending upon how you render the Hebrew word judgement/justice).

  • First, give me life based upon Who You are (What you have said – judgements).

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it.22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them[d] great and awesome things by driving out before your people,[e]whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? 24 And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O Lord, became their God.25 And now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken26 And your name will be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29 Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

Second, give me life based upon What You do (How you have done in the past – justice).

O Lord, I have heard the report of you,
and your work, O Lord, do I fear.
In the midst of the years revive it;
in the midst of the years make it known;
in wrath remember mercy.  Habakkuk 3:2

Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?  Psalm 85:6

10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 2 Corinthians 1:10

Posted on 6th February 2019 in Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Personal Revival: Psalm 119:107

Psalm 119: Personal Revival

We are giving thorough study to each of the eleven occurrences of “revival” in the 119th Psalm.

The Hebrew word includes the following ideas:

Barnes Notes on the Bible

Cause me to live; give me vigor and strength to break away from this which binds me fast, and to rise above these low propensities.

Pulpit Commentary

Raise me up to life and health and vigor.

Psalm 119:107 is today’s text.

I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

Verses 105-112 comprise this portion of this poetic Psalm.

  1. Before we celebrate the lamp and light, let’s remember the lamp and light are needed because it is extremely dark.
  2. It is so dark as to be called “extremely afflicted.” An interlinear reading is “very afflicted, very.”
  3. The Psalmist says, “I hold my life in my hand continually.”
    1. Exposed to perpetual and extreme danger, as any precious and frail thing is which a man carries openly in his hand, and which he may easily let fall, or be deprived of by violence.  Benson Commentary
    2. The idea in the original is that his soul – his life – was always in jeopardy. The expression seems to be proverbial. Anything taken in the hand is liable to be rudely snatched away. Thus a casket of jewels, or a purse of gold in the hand, may at any moment be seized by robbers. Barnes Notes on the Bible
  4. It is also extremely dark because “the wicked have laid a snare for me.”

There are two primary experiences for the Christian under the heavy weight of extreme affliction, 1. God infuses His strength into the Christian and/or, 2. God removes the extreme affliction and strength and vigor naturally return to the Christian.

The Treasury of David

According to the last verse he had been sworn in as a soldier of the Lord, and in this next verse he is called to suffer hardness in that capacity. Our service of the Lord does not screen us from trial, but rather secures it for us. The Psalmist was a consecrated man, and yet a chastened man; nor were his chastisements light; for it seemed as if the more he was obedient the more he was afflicted. He evidently felt the rod to be cutting deep, and this he pleads before the Lord. He speaks not by way of murmuring, but by way of pleading; from the very much affliction he argues for very much quickening.

Alfred John Morris, 1814-1869

We can recommend so persuasively the cheerful drinking of the cup of sorrow when in the hand of others, but what wry faces we make when it is put into our own.

Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, 1786-1859

The Christian lives in the midst of crosses, as the fish lives in the sea.

Into this extreme darkness of affliction comes the most glorious lamp and light of God’s Word.

I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word! Psalm 119:105

Extreme affliction is met by an even more extreme life-giving word of God!

God’s word is more powerful than human words can adequately reveal.

Consider this paragraph from the Treasury of David by C. H. Spurgeon.

  1. Quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word. This is the best remedy for tribulation;
  2. the soul is raised above the thought of present distress,
  3. and is filled with that holy joy which attends all vigorous spiritual life,
  4. and so the affliction grows light.
  5. Jehovah alone can quicken:
  6. he has life in himself, and therefore can communicate it readily;
  7. he can give us life at any moment, yea, at this present instant;
  8. for it is of the nature of quickening to be quick in its operation.
  9. The Lord has promised, prepared, and provided this blessing of renewed life for all his waiting servants:
  10. it is a covenant blessing, and it is as obtainable as it is needful.
  11. Frequently the affliction is made the means of the quickening, even as the stirring of a fire promotes the heat of the flame. In their affliction some desire death, let us pray for life. Our foreboding under trial are often very gloomy, let us entreat the Lord to deal with us, not according to our fears, but according to his own word.
  12. David had but few promises to quote, and probably these were in his own psalms, yet he pleads the word of the Lord;
  13. how much more should we do so, since to us so many holy men have spoken by the Spirit of the Lord in that wonderful library which is now our Bible.
  14. Seeing we have more promises, let us offer more prayers.

The challenge?

  • Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lorddelivers him out of them all.  Psalm 34:19
  • In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials. 1 Peter 1:6

The Overcoming Victory?

  • God revives the soul through His word!

Paul’s call to the Romans is his call to us. (12:12-13)

  1. Rejoice in hope,
  2. be patient in tribulation,
  3. be constant in prayer.
  4. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

May God grant to you a deep and abiding personal revival.

Posted on 30th January 2019 in Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Personal Revival and Memory

Psalm 119: Personal Revival

Eleven times the Psalmist prays for personal revival.

Vs. 25              My soul clings to the dust.  Revive me according to your word.

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Vs. 40              Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Vs. 50              This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Vs. 88              In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Vs. 107            I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

Vs. 149            Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.

Vs. 154            Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!

Vs. 156            Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.

Vs. 159            Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.

The Hebrew word includes the idea of “revive, the people of God by God Himself with fulness of life in His favor.”  https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2421.htm

Barnes Notes on the Bible

Cause me to live; give me vigor and strength to break away from this which binds me fast, and to rise above these low propensities.

Pulpit Commentary

Raise me up to life and health and vigor.

The personal reviving of Psalm 119 flows from an experience with God through His written Word.

In both the Old and New Testament, an Agent of experience with God is the Holy Spirit.

King David knows the presence of the Holy Spirit is with him and pleads with God to not take the Holy Spirit away from him as a response to his great sin.  Psalm 51:11

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Today, we too have God’s written Word with the added delight of the outpoured Holy Spirit.  May we experience the personal revival of Psalm 119 through the Agency of the Holy Spirit applying God’s written Word and through the Personal presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s text, Psalm 119:93, connects revival to remembering what God has said.

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Notice the action of God in our personal remembrance.  Psalm 111:4

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.

Memorials can be created to help us remember.  Joshua 4:1-7

When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

In the ways of God, remembrance holds a very special grace for the believer.

“The question arises, When believers remember the deeds of God and when God remembers his relation to Israel what kind of remembering is in view? Is it merely recollection of information about the past? Or is it remembering the past in such a way that the facts remembered have some impact on the present? As a minimum, this remembering within the Old Covenant would seem to imply that the God who performed the past mighty deeds, which are remembered, is the God who is present with his people as he or they remember those deeds. And he is present as the same, living God, bound to them in election and covenant as he was to their ancestors in days past, for he is Yahweh, “I am who I am.””

“…he who is remembered is very much present at the memorial/remembrance.”  Biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers

Psalm 119:93 declares, “I will never forget” and in the never forgetting there is deep personal revival.

Undoubtedly, the theology of remembrance is experienced in highest form at the Lord’s table.  Luke 22:17-20

17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

“…he who is remembered is very much present at the memorial/remembrance.”  

 

Posted on 23rd January 2019 in Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Personal Revival and God’s Steadfast Love

In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.  Psalm 119:88

In our pursuit of personal revival as revealed in Psalm 119, we discover the keeping of “the testimonies of your mouth” requires the loving revival action of God.

That I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

  • There is personal responsibility and delight that flows from the longing of David’s soul. “That I.”
    • The corporate or national we is important, but David’s priority is upon himself.
    • Apparent is an intimacy between “your steadfast love” and “that I may keep.”
  • “Keep” seems a more relational term than “obey.”
  • David’s interest is in keeping the particulars from “God’s mouth.”
    • Hearing the voice of God, as seen in the written the code of law, is a bit more intimate than “may I obey your law.”
    • The emphasis upon God’s mouth” implies a close ear to hear. Maybe a heart to heart idea.
  • This is a prequel to Jesus’ words in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
  • It seems this wording is more than “may I obey what you once said,” but “may I hear and respond appropriately to what you are currently saying.”

For the keeping of the testimonies from God’s mouth to occur, the Psalmist recognizes he needs an abiding personal revival.

  • Quicken me.
  • Cause me to live.
  • God’s action is requested for such a noble “Keeping of the testimonies from his mouth.”

Why would God even consider doing this reviving?

The Psalmist appeals to God’s great, enduring mercy and grace wrapped up “In your steadfast love.”

“Respond to me according to Who you are,” the Psalmist requests.

There are more ways than one can estimate that hinder us from “Keeping the testimonies of God’s mouth.”

Fear of failure and fear of others send us to a direct awareness of our need of God’s unfailing love.

Posted on 12th December 2018 in Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Personal Revival: Comfort in Affliction

With our strong longing for God, we are studying personal revival as seen in Psalm 119.

Psalm 119 features at least eight prayers of deep longing for revival.

Today’s text is perfectly timed by the Lord for our post-earthquake reality.

Vs. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

• The difficulty is affliction.
• The grace is comfort and life.
• The source is God’s promise.

An affliction is a “cause of persistent pain or distress.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affliction

• The author does not minimalize the pain or distress.
• Nor does he deny pain and distress.

Notice Abraham’s total resistance to denial. Romans 4:19-21

19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

The Psalmist makes it clear, “in my affliction.”

Yet David has a far greater experience to unfold for his readers: “This is my comfort.”

David’s personal experience was “consolation in time of trouble or worry.”

Yes, in David’s affliction he experienced God’s comfort and life through God’s promises.

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare[a] is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries:[b] “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
The Word of God Stands Forever
6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said,[c] “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty[d] is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
The Greatness of God
9 Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;[e] lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;[f] lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has measured[g] the Spirit of the LORD,
or what man shows him his counsel?
14 Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
18 To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
19 An idol! A craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
20 He who is too impoverished for an offering
chooses wood[h] that will not rot;
he seeks out a skillful craftsman
to set up an idol that will not move.
21 Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23 who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
25 To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
and because he is strong in power,
not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
God’s promise is the source of HUGE comfort.

God is tender with His people.

War is ended.
Iniquity is pardoned.

The wilderness is to be prepared for the Lord. The LORD is entering the wilderness.

Build a straight highway – God is coming to town!

Every obstacle to smooth travel will be removed.

God’s glory will be revealed.

All flesh shall see it together.

FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HAS SPOKEN.

So much in creation and life is temporary.

BUT THE WORD OF OUR GOD WLL STAND FOREVER!

Get on every communication platform and declare with strength, “The might and power of God.”

He will mightily tend his flock like a shepherd.

Haven’t you heard? God isn’t confined to creation as a mere created being.

He sits above creation.

God is so amazing there is nothing to compare with Him.

Haven’t you heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary. What God understands is unsearchable.
He gives POWER to the faint and to the weak He increases strength.

All humans get weary, faint and can fall exhausted.

 

Posted on 5th December 2018 in Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Psalm 119:40: Longings and Personal Revival

We are pursuing, with all our mind and might, soul and heart, the Person whom we Love.

The One whose loving kindness is better than life.  He who animates the universe.  Brightens the Alaskan skies with the northern lights.  Who says, “Let there be” and be it is.

He who shalom-ed a troubled teenage Mary’s heart upon her selection to be the mother of our Lord and entrusted her cross broken heart to John, “Woman, behold thy son.”  Or is it He entrusted His best friend into the care of the world’s greatest mother?

We’ve got to experience the One who sent the cloven tongues of fire from Mt. Sinai into Pentecost’s upper room and filled everyone present with the Spirit of the Living God.

Not another day without His strong hand upon our shoulder.  Not an hour without His living Word surging through our veins.  Not a minute absent His approval. Not a second without His aromatic anointing.

We pursue His fresh fire.  His wind of life.  His energetic oil.

We await His hovering, brooding, indwelling, moving, empowering Spirit.

Is it renewal?  Restoration?  Awakening?  Outpouring?  Revival?

Psalm 119 features at least eight prayers of deep longing for revival.

Vs. 25              My soul clings to the dust.  Revive me according to your word.

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Vs. 40              Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Vs. 50              This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Vs. 88              In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Vs. 107            I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

Vs. 149            Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.

Today we take up the Psalmist’s third outcry for revival.  Psalm 119:40

“Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!”

This awakening of revival for which we pray is related to our deepest longings.  “Behold, I long for your precepts.”

For some people, the identifiable deep longing is for happiness.  David K. Naugle, in his book Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness states:

Roman philosopher Seneca (c. 5 B.C.-A. D. 65) reminded us: There is not anything in this world, perhaps, that is more talked of, and less understood, than the business of a happy life. It is every person’s wish and design; and yet not one of a thousand … knows wherein that happiness consists. We live, however, in a blind and eager pursuit of it; and the more haste we make in a wrong way, the further we are from our journey’s end.

Naugle calls this misguided longing for happiness as “the everlasting ideal.”

We are in search of the everlasting ideal in education, finances, work, technology, marriage, parenting, friendship, travel, adventure, health, entertainment, recreation, religion, food, drink, sex, and self. Not only is this pursuit exhausting; it also trivializes a once-noble concept, as we have moved from a concern with being and doing good to a fixation on feeling good.

Notice the author points to a movement from “being and doing good to a fixation on feeling good.”

Feelings are part of the image of God imparted to human beings at creation.  It is because God has emotions that we have emotions.  Feelings are a gift from God.

God’s feelings are on full display in Hosea 11:8.

How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.

Jesus feels our feelings.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

To sympathize is to “have a fellow feeling with.”  https://biblehub.com/greek/4834.htm

We could restate this verse as follows:  For we have Jesus, our Great High Priest, who has fellow feelings with our weaknesses.  In every respect He has been tempted as we are yet is without sin.

When God created humans in His image He included the ability and desirability of feelings.

Longing for joy, peace, love and happiness can be pleasing to the Lord.

However, these longings are not truly the deepest human longing.

Every human being has always and will always discover their deepest longing is for God alone.

Psalm 62:5-8

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;

Hear the same deepest longing from Psalm 42:1-2

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

See Jesus’ promised blessing upon those who embrace their deepest longings for God in Matthew 5.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.

Psalm 119:40, reveals that revival is connected to our deepest longing for God as revealed in His precepts (guidance).

Consider God’s faithfulness to Isaac because of Abraham’s exceptional longing for obedience to God.

26 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Remember this is several hundred years PRIOR to God giving the written and oral Law to Moses.

Abraham’s knowledge of God’s charge, commandments, statutes and laws was 100% by hearing God’s voice.

“This variety of expression seems to be designed to show the universality and exactness of Abraham’s obedience, that he readily complied with every intimation of the divine will.”

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/26-5.htm

Abraham’s deepest longing for God fueled his obedience to every hint of God’s will.

As we pursue our deepest longing for God, Abraham’s example is a valuable model.

  1. Longing for God, we pre-commit to obey every hint of God’s will.
  2. Longing for God, we expect to hear His voice, both oral and written.
  3. Longing for God, we expect the next generation of our family members to walk in God’s promises to us.
  4. Longing for God, we expect Holy Spirit revival.
Posted on 28th November 2018 in Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Psalm 119: Personal Revival part 3

Psalm 119: Personal Revival

Wednesday, November 14

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

We have talked about the need for personal revival as seen in verse 25, “my soul clings to the dust,” and as a response, like Isaiah’s in Isaiah 6:5, to the glorious holiness of God.

Now we turn our attention to Psalm 119:37’s emphasis upon our need for revival because we fill our sight, vision, imagination and contemplations with worthless things rather than with the face of God.

Have you considered what we might call “Godly visual nutrition?”

The challenges of consistently eating healthful nutrition are well known.

  1. I don’t know what is healthful and therefore make poor nutritional choices.
  2. I do know what is healthful and therefore make good nutritional choices.
  3. I do know what is healthful but don’t have the discipline to make good nutritional choices.
  4. I do know what is healthful but don’t really seem to care. At all.

Although never called “Godly visual nutrition” in the Bible, the concept is powerful in the lives of both Bible heroes and villains.

Eve and Adam represented all human beings in the battle for “Godly visual nutrition” in their colossal Genesis 3:6 failure.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

David struggled with “Godly Visual Nutrition.”

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 2 Samuel 11:2

Achan lost the battle for “Godly Visual Nutrition.”

21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels,[a]then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” Joshua 7:21

John warns us about ungodly visual nutrition.

16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life[a]—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

An entry level dimension of “Godly Visual Nutrition” begins with making a covenant with one’s eyes.

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? Job 31:1

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.  Daniel 1:8

A second dimension of “Godly Visual Nutrition” includes consuming NO visual junk food.

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.  Psalm 101:3

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.  2 Samuel 11:2

A third dimension of “Godly Visual Nutrition” includes the Word of God.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.  Proverbs 4:20, 21

A fourth dimension of “Godly Visual Nutrition” is the Person and Presence of God.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.  Psalm 27:4

My soul was stirred significantly by an experience Pastor Francis Chan had with a pastor from India.

“Moses went up the mountain to meet with God.  In our generation God invites every Christian to climb the mountain to personally meet with God.  But American pastors are content to stay at the foot of the mountain and take selfies with celebrities rather than climb the mountain of God themselves.”

We have need of Psalm 119 personal revival because:

  1. Our soul clings to the dust. 25
  2. We have seen the extreme holiness of God. Isaiah 6
  3. We have filled our eyes with worthless things. 37

Lord, turn my eyes from worthless things and give me life in your ways.  Vs. 37

 

Posted on 14th November 2018 in Prayer, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Psalm 119: Personal Revival, Part 2

Eleven times the Psalmist prays for personal revival.

Vs. 25              My soul clings to the dust.  Revive me according to your word.

Psalm 44:25

For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground.

Psalm 113:7

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

Psalm 103:14

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Personal Revival is anchored, for the Psalmist of verse 25, in “My soul clings to the dust.”

There could be many and various reasons for the Psalmist’s soul to cling to the dust.  “Look at you….”

  • Personal difficulty
  • Depression
  • Disease
  • Strong enemies
  • A guilty conscience

Let us consider a different possibility for you and I to recognize that our “souls cling to the dust.”  Isaiah 6:1-9

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”[b]

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

There is a, “My soul clings to the dust reality,” that comes not from one’s encounter with the self and all of its challenges, but from an experience with God and His holiness.

Here the soul isn’t saying, “Look at you,” the soul has looked and seen God.

We discover Isaiah’s “Woe is me” is similar to the Psalmist’s “My soul clings to the dust.”

May the Lord create in us a longing for personal revival that flows from an experience with God and His holiness.

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Vs. 40              Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Vs. 50              This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Vs. 88              In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Vs. 107             I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

Vs. 149            Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.

Vs. 154            Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!

Vs. 156             Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.

Vs. 159             Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.

Psalm 85

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you covered all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.

Ten Suggestions for a Personal Revival: “The Size of the Soul (Chapter 5)” A.W. Tozer

  1. Get thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself.
  2. Set your face like a flint toward a sweeping transformation of your life.
  3. Put yourself in the way of the blessing.
  4. Do a thorough job of repenting.
  5. Make restitution whenever possible.
  6. Bring your life into accord with the Sermon on the Mount and such other New Testament Scriptures as are designed to instruct us in the way of righteousness. (Self-examination made on our knees)
  7. Be serious-minded.
  8. Deliberately narrow your interests.
  9. Begin to witness.
  10. Have faith in God (begin to expect).
Posted on 7th November 2018 in Intentional Spiritual Growth, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Wealth Creation and the Beatitudinal Christian

The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation. https://www.lausanne.org/content/wealth-creation-manifesto

The Bible has much to say about material goods, wealth and true riches.

  • Wealth can be in all areas – physical, mental, material and spiritual.
    • Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 2
      • All may go well
      • Good health
      • Healthful soul
    • If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? Luke 16:11
  • All resources are sourced in God.
    • The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,[a]
      the world and those who dwell therein,
      for he has founded it upon the seas
      and established it upon the rivers.  Psalm 24:1, 2
    • You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:18
  • We are stewards entrusted with caring for God’s resources.

 

  • The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.  Genesis 2:15

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”  1 Corinthians 10:23-26

  • As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: I Peter 4:10

 

  • We steward God’s resources for God’s purposes. 17

 

  • We steward God’s resources to become rich in good works, generous and ready to share. 18

 

  • We steward God’s resources to build a good foundation for the future so that we may take hold of that which is truly life. 19

 

  • In stewarding God’s resources, we experience joy. 17

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

 

  • Stewardship indicates our treasure is God and not His resources. We do not trust in resources, but in God Himself.  Luke 12:34

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

  • Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28

The following affirmations and appeal are from https://www.lausanne.org/content/wealth-creation-manifesto

Affirmations

  1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
  2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with him and for him, to create products and services for the common good.
  3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
  4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
  5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
  6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
  7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
  8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
  9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
  10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
  11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

Appeal

We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.

  • We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
  • We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
  • We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God-given gifts to serve God and people.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – For the greater glory of God

Posted on 3rd October 2018 in BAM, Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
post

The Rushing Spirit and the Suddenly’s of God

I am investigating every mention of the Spirit in the Old Testament.  These notes are for the usage of the word “Spirit” in Judges through 1 Samuel 16.

The emphasis in these verses upon “The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him,” caught my attention.  Upon further thinking, I also see that Luke, in Acts, places special emphasis upon the Spirit doing things “suddenly.”

May the Spirit RUSH upon you SUDDENLY with God’s ministry to you.

Judges 14:5-6, 19; 15:14

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him,

The Expression:                                  although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces

Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat

1 Samuel 10:6, 10

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you

The Expression:                                  you will prophesy and be turned into another man

Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.           

1 Samuel 11:6

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of God rushed upon Saul

The Expression:                                  and his anger was greatly kindled.

And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.

1 Samuel 16:13

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.

The Expression:                                  Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

The Holy Spirit and Luke, in the book of Acts, place enormous emphasis upon the urgent rushing of the Holy Spirit into and upon people and situations.

Acts 2:2

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Acts 8:39

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 9:3

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.

Acts 10:30

Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me

Acts 12:7

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Acts 12:10

They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

Acts 16:26

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Acts 22:6

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.

Malachi 3:1-2

 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

 

Posted on 26th September 2018 in Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post