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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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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
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The Maker Has Made Himself Known: Make Him Known

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2018

What part of God’s world do you love?

Last weekend we investigated a two-way relationship with God, “Because He loves to give the gift of making Himself known to you, He also loves it when you give Him the gift of making yourself known to Him.”

 

In the same manner, “God so loved the world that he gave,” is His extravagant invitation for us to love God’s world as He does and participate in making the Maker known to others.

Pause for a moment and experience the exquisite joy of the angelic declaration first shared with a group of shepherds.  Luke 2:8-12

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Embrace the Good News!  Jesus’ birth, sinless life, miraculous ministry, death and resurrection are for “all the people.”

At the birth of Jesus, Bethlehem becomes God’s centerpiece of lovingly drawing all people to Himself.  God loves to make Himself known and demonstrate His love for all people.

People who have lived rough, messed up lives are included in God’s love story.

  • Men – David, the King and King Solomon (Matthew 1:6, 7)
  • Women – Tamar (Matthew 1:3) and Bathsheba (Matthew 1:6)

People considered undesirable and unwanted are shown they are desirable, wanted and loved by God.

  • The shepherds (Luke 2:8)

People who deny the true and living God are included in God’s loving Self-revelation.

  • The magi (Matthew 2:1)
  • “even the most pagan of pagans may respond to Jesus if given the opportunity (cf. Jonah 1:13-16; 3:6-4:1, 10-11). For one special event in history, the God who rules the heavens chose to reveal himself where pagans were looking.” Keener, Craig S.. A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 100). Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition.

People who love the true and living God are also recipients of God’s love and Self-revelation.

  • Joseph – Righteous (Matthew 1:19), humble, obedient (Matthew1:24), gracious, gift of discernment
  • Mary Highly favored, the Lord is with you (Luke 2:28), I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word (Luke 2:38)

The Good News of great joy is for all the people!

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”  John 6:35-37

“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires (whosoever will) take the water of life without price.” Revelation 22:17

What part of God’s world do you love?

  1. Do you love people who have lived rough, messed up lives and are waiting for you to explain and show that they are included in God’s great love?
  2. Do you love people that others consider undesirable and unwanted who long to be included in God’s circle of love through you?
  3. Do you love people who deny the true and living God and are looking for you to bridge the gap to God’s love?
  4. Do you love people who love the true and living God and hope you will love them too?

Someone near you is waiting, longing, looking and hoping you will make the Maker known to them.

Jesus’ statement, “God so loved the world that he gave,” is His extravagant invitation for us to love God’s world as He does and do our part in making the Maker known.

Posted on 22nd December 2018 in Christmas, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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MCA Christmas Pastor Appreciation 2018

Sound a trumpet in Alaska!  It’s the MCA Christmas Pastor Appreciation Weekend!  Each year, as Chairman of the MCA Board of Directors, I am blessed to give honor to the MCA Alaska Pastoral Team.

Honoring our Pastors in Australia, Burkina Faso, and other undisclosed locations happens at another time and in other ways.  This weekend is for the Alaska team.

We love the people God has put together for the purposes of “Glorifying God and Growing People to Their Full Potential in Christ.”

These folks are all out, pedal to the metal disciples of Jesus and servants to everyone they meet.

Although they are not on the MCA Pastoral Team, we ALWAYS honor our Bishop and bride, Superintendent Roy William Welch and Dori Welch.  Best leaders on the planet today.  :0)

Huge shouts of love to this group of AMAZING prayer warriors, Bible teachers, soul winners, gifts of the Spirit ministers and all around servants before the Lord and His people.

In all of ten weekend services we are receiving a Christmas offering to be equally divided among these twenty-two team members.  A full-time member is blessed with a full share of the offering and a part-time member receives a half share.

(I couldn’t get WordPress Gallery to work, so what follows is a random spacing of the photos)

Daneé Redfearn Julie Martins Zyla and Alex Esteban Blaine and Robin Schmidt Heather and Marc Toro Kassy and Jonathan Redfearn Howard and Rezia Hansen Moe and Zelda Tali Becky Rose David and Deborah Wilson Edgardo Montano Doug and Celeste Leaf Zion Burgess Staci and Mike Borden Mary Ann Pruitt April Samber Maritza Ruiz Duron Mark and Val Burgess Tracy and Bryan Fick Drew and May Hansen Dori and Bill Welch Miriam Montano
Posted on 16th December 2018 in Christmas, Christmas Photo, Pastors  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Maker has Made Himself Known: Make yourself known to Him

The Third Sunday of Advent 2018

Have you ever had a secret admirer?

Who is your secret admirer? It can be hard to tell who’s been secretly sending you gifts or romantic messages, especially when he or she doesn’t want you to find out. You will need to use all the clues you can find. Look carefully at any messages or gifts that they have sent you. Ask around to find out who might be crushing on you. Be aware of the people in your life and keep your eyes peeled for potential admirers. Be careful and be patient. Your secret admirer is probably shy at the prospect of talking to you in person, so try to be tactful and respect his or her privacy.  https://www.wikihow.com/Find-Your-Secret-Admirer

God is no secret admirer.  He LOVES to love you lavishly (1 John 3:1), publicly, extravagantly, unbelievably and eternally!

An unknown love is discouraging, depressing and unrewarding.

God, the One who loves you beyond human capacity to understand, is not a secret lover.  He knows you and everything about you.

Isaiah 43:1

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you: I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Psalm 139:1-6

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

There is NO DOUBT! God knows you and loves you.

This encourages us to embrace a couple of questions:

  1. Do I know myself?
  2. Do I present the self I know to God?

1 Corinthians 13:12 is insightful on love and knowing.

12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

To be dependent is to only receive. (Creates indebtedness)

To be independent is to only give. (Creates impoverishment)

“Even God who is uniquely self-sufficient lives in the triunity of persons in a full giving that is a full receiving, and a full receiving that is a full giving.” Gloria Patri (2007), Nicholas Ayo, page 52

God is perfectly healthy in every way.

Because He loves to give the gift of making Himself known to you, He also loves it when you give Him the gift of making yourself known to Him.

We are invited into a “know and be known” relationship with God.

“The One who knows be best, loves me most.”  Bill Gaither

The Advent Text for this week is Zephaniah 3:14-20.

Verse 17 is the pivotal fulcrum for the experiences and expressions of the other verses.

 

3:14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!

 

3:15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.

3:16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.

3:17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing

 

3:18 as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it.

3:19 I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

 

3:20 At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the LORD.

 

We are to sing aloud.

We are to shout.

We are to rejoice and exult with all our hearts.

 

 

Why?  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you.

He has turned away our enemies.

He is in our midst and we shall fear disaster no more!!!

 

 

We do not fear and we do not let our hands grow weak.

We stay strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

 

What is the Lord, our God, in our midst doing?

He is a warrior who gives victory.

He rejoices over us with gladness.

He renews us in his love.

He exults over us with loud singing.

 

He removes disaster from us.

 

 

 

He deals with all our oppressors.

He saves the immobile

He gathers the outcasts and exchanges our shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

 

 

He will bring us home at the time He gathers us.

He will make us renowned and praised when He restores our fortunes before our eyes.

Because God loves to give the making of Himself known and also loves to receive the making of ourselves known, we respond energetically with King David in Psalm 139:23, 24

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Prayer

Thank you, Father God, for loving to make yourself known.

Although I am dependent upon You, I don’t want You to do all the giving.  I respond to your gift of making yourself known by truthfully, authentically and openly giving you the gift of making myself known to you.

Although you are independent of me, I don’t want to do all the receiving.  Please receive my open and honest making of myself known to you as my heartfelt gift.

AMEN

 

Posted on 15th December 2018 in Christmas, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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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
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The Maker has Made Himself Known: Preparing for God’s Self-revelation

Second Sunday of Advent 2018

In advent we prepare ourselves for the arrival of Jesus, past, present and future.

Today we reflect upon Jesus’ arrival in yesterday’s Bethlehem, embrace His arrival in our experience today and prepare for His arrival in our tomorrow.

God, in His Son Jesus, has made Himself known, is making Himself known and will make Himself known.

God making Himself known in the birth of Jesus was glorious.

John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Luke 2:8-14

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

God making Himself known in daily life is powerful too.

Consider the miracle of the axe head floating.  2 Kings 6:1-7

Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

God loves to make Himself known in powerful ways in the material things of our day to day lives.

  • In miraculous provision.
    • Food (manna and Quail) in the desert for the people of Israel. Exodus 16
    • Miracle catch of fish. John 21
    • Multiplying fish and loaves.
      • John 6:1-15 – Feeding 5,000 with five loaves and 2 fish (12 baskets of overflow)
      • Mark 8:1-13 – Feeding of the 4,000 with seven loaves and a few fish (Seven baskets of overflow)
    • He makes Himself known by continuing the wedding feast by turning the water into wine, saving the parents from embarrassment and providing for the joy of the wedding guests
    • He makes Himself known to the disciples by miraculously providing money to pay taxes. Matthew 17:27
    • He makes Himself known by healing paralysis, leprosy, withered hands, calming storms and raising those who have died.

God loves to make Himself known in our tomorrows too and we are in search of ways to prepare ourselves for God’s Self-revelation.

Can I prepare today for a greater Self-revelation of Jesus tomorrow?

Today’s Second Sunday of Advent text is Malachi 3:1-4

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

From our text we learn things we can do to prepare the way for God’s Self-revelation.

  1. The preparer is sent by God. 1 “Lord, send me to prepare my heart for your arrival.”
  2. The preparer prepares the way for the Lord. 1  “Lord, may I prepare my heart for the way of the Lord rather than for my personal preferences.”
  3. When the Lord arrives in the prepared place, it can be something to be endured as being in a refiner’s fire and being scrubbed with fuller’s soap. 2.  “Lord, your Self-revelation is worth everything to me.  Please give me grace to endure the fire and scrubbing necessary to prepare me for your revelation.”
  4. In the process I am becoming like refined and purified silver and gold. ‘Lord, I celebrate the results you are producing in me and I come as a purified offering of righteousness to you.”
  5. Preparing the way of the Lord followed by His arrival is making me pleasing to Him.

Thank God for His Self-revelation through:

  • The first Christmas.
  • The material things in our lives.
  • Preparing my heart for His arrival tomorrow.

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Posted on 10th December 2018 in Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Crisis Intervention for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Special Needs: Hope and healing after the earthquake

Knowing the importance of assisting South Central Alaskan children to resiliently navigate the recent 7.0 earthquake and the multiple hundreds of aftershocks, I have invited Sandra Robinson, Ph.D., to make several presentations to all interested parents, teachers, educators, volunteers, and church leaders.
Caring for our children, especially those with developmental disabilities, is a highly urgent matter.  Due to the urgent need we are not as perfectly organized as we would like to be, but we are ready for three sessions of timely, practical and encouraging training and interaction with Dr. Robinson.  Her introduction presented below is super impressive and comforting.
Dr. Robinson will make her presentation three times on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday evening December 9, 2018.
Saturday, December 8 (No childcare)
  • Registration – 12:30 PM
  • First Opportunity – 1:00-4:00 PM
  • Second Opportunity -5:30-8:30 PM

Sunday, December 9 (Childcare provided)

  • Registration – 5:30 PM
  • Third Opportunity- 6:00-9:00 PM

Dr. Sandy Robinson has over 34 years of experience in public education. She has taught grades 5-12. She has also been a site administrator and the Director of Special Education in two different districts.

Dr. Sandy has taught teacher preparation courses at California State University, Riverside. She has trained educators, administrators, and parents in the areas of positive behavior techniques, teaching and learning strategies, inclusion techniques, crisis intervention, and Special Education Law. She is an Inclusion Specialist. She brings her extensive experience in the field of special education to faith communities.

Dr. Sandy has been the Regional Director of Champions Club, an international ministry for students and adults with special needs and their families. She is currently the Training Coordinator and Inclusion Specialist for Champions Clubs. In 2012, with the support of Pastor Craig Johnson and Covina Assembly of God Church, she developed and  launched the first Champions Club outside of Lakewood Church.

In 2014, Dr. Sandy and Mr. Craig Johnson wrote the first full scale curriculum for Champions (individuals with special needs). The curriculum encourages families to come to know God, love Him, and to share His love with others. In 2017, they released a family devotional that provides families access to the curriculum. It is her desire to assist churches, of all denominations, to successfully include exceptional individuals and their families in all aspects of church life.

She has been married to her best friend for 29 years. God has blessed them with two amazing daughters who love and serve God, and two pugs named Littleman and Charlie.

Posted on 6th December 2018 in Children's Ministry, Conferences, Peak Performance, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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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
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Aftershocks in the Soul

The aftershocks of a major earthquake seem to be more intense within the  human soul than they are in the earth beneath.

Nothing opens the consciousness to our total powerlessness as the earth uncontrollably moving like ocean waves for what seems like an eternity.

One helpful thing from such huge seismic movement is the shocking core awareness of personal powerlessness.

Why is this helpful?  Because it points us, no, it drives us to the only Reality in the universe who never did, doesn’t now and never will have even a nanosecond of powerlessness.

We meet this non-powerlessness Person in Revelations 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

I’m no expert in post-earthquake recovery but I do have a couple of ideas I think may be helpful.

  1. Feel comfortable to say and feel the words, “I felt so powerless.” Or, “It was scary because there was nothing I could do.”
  2. Place high priority upon spending time with people who love you.
  3. Rest in remembering that NOTHING shakes the Unshakeable, Unmovable, Unwavering Almighty God.
  4. Get back into your normal life patterns (if they are healthy) and stay active, engaged and productive.

An abiding relationship with the Almighty God, through His Son Jesus, sends the soul’s aftershocks, not into our sense of personal well-being, but into the never powerless, always Almighty God.

Posted on 3rd December 2018 in Gratitude, Musings  •  Comments are off for this post