Archive for the Word of the Day Category

FOOL!!

Psalm 14: 1

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

I remember the first time I heard this verse. It was back in the 80’s and Kenneth Hagin was preaching. Some man said to Hagin that there was no such thing as God. Hagin said something like that he was glad to meet him because he saw him in the Bible. Then Hagin quoted him this verse. I wonder how the guy reacted.

It’s true though and if you believe the Bible is true then you will appreciate that to refuse to acknowledge the existence of God is foolishness. At the time I heard Hagin tell that story I thought it was funny. I still do. There is, however, a great deal of tragedy in those few words. It is a tragedy greater than anything Shakespeare could have ever imagined; the death of a human soul.

I find it remarkable that anyone can, in honesty, can say there is no God. The evidence of God’s hand is everywhere. How can one even see a forest and deny the existence of God? The bigger question I have, though, is what meaning does this verse hold for us? It is simply an evangelical verse, or does it speak into our lives?

I think this verse can speak to us too! Does God exist in your job or business? What role does He play in your family? Does He exist in your day to day life? Is He there when you are taking out the trash or cooking dinner? You see, I think the answer to the question is that we are fools to the degree we do not invite God into every aspect of our lives. I know it is a challenge. It is something I am still learning to do. This is not about recrimination but rather growth. As we grow in our intertwining experience with God, we become less and less foolish. There is absolutely nothing, nothing, that you do in your life that is not fertile ground for time with your Father and God. He would love to be so intricately involved in the affairs of your life that you would miss even a moment of His absence. This is a thing to which we can aspire. It is the hallmark of David’s relationship with God.

So, today, when you go to the grocery store, stop and pump gas, when you fix dinner and wash the clothes, but especially when you tuck your children into bed, leave some room for Dad. Take Him with you. You are going to find that the more you do this, the more joyful your life will be. And we all want you happy! Be blessed!

But . . ..

Psalm 13: 6               Tree of Life

But I trust in Your lovingkindness, my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to Adonai, because He has been good to me.

How could I choose any verse other than this one after yesterday’s passage? The first part of the psalm details David’s fear, worry and sorrow but as is so often the case, he does not allow himself to languish in anxiety.

The most important word in today’s verse may well be “but.” David tells of all the trouble. He momentarily dwells in the angst, BUT, he says, there is something else which speaks in the darkness. A light which casts out even the darkest shadow. Despite the circumstances, despite the fear and emotional trauma, God is seated on His throne and is well and able to cast His saving radiance on even our deepest gloom.

David knew that God’s lovingkindness trumps all. It even trumps our unworthiness, poor prayers, lack of prayers, heathen attitudes and every other failure. David was able to trust the Lord because he understood love. David had an enviable revelation that love compels God. It will not let Him rest. The Lord’s salvation reaches into the darkness giving us every reason to rejoice. He saves us from every situation, every worry, every fear. David would not allow himself to meditate on the problems. He shifted gears into trust and rejoicing. This was a purposeful act, one which ultimately catapulted him into song. Yes, there are problems out there. Sure, challenges arise but shall we focus our attention on them or remind ourselves that God’s lovingkindness is trustworthy? Shall we fix our eyes on the circumstances or on Jesus? These are not rhetorical questions. We must, like David, make a definitive decision. How shall we color the fabric of our lives, with the music of praise or with despair? Lift up your eyes, my beloved. See the great and glorious there upon your own horizon. Love is beckoning even as it answers your most deep-seeded worries. Let your heart be light for you Father, your real Father, has healing, love and joy in His wings.

I Dare You!

Psalm 12: 6            Passion Translation

For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.

Oh, if we only believed this. Wouldn’t life be different? The truth of the matter, sorrowfully, is that most Christians aren’t really believers. We believe in Jesus but not necessarily all his words. This is lamentable, but you know what, this is something we can change individually and globally.

Today’s psalm is a song of David, I think you might hear his voice in this verse. He trusted God. He believed in Him. Not only did he believe in God but even more importantly, he believed God. David believed that whatever God said was true and sure, that there was no way it could not come to pass. He believed that ever promise of God was yes and amen to him, that it was undeniable. He believed in the purity of God’s promises and every word which proceeded from the mouth of God. And David’s belief had no choice but to manifest in his life. You see, what we believe is what we will manifest.

The heathen know this. Why don’t we? They know that what the heart believes will become reality. And they are right. That is the way God made this realm to operate. It’s not a big secret. David has told you right here that all of God’s words are absolute truth. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you,” (Mark 11: 24). Or think on this from Mark 11: 23 as recorded in the God’s Word Translation, “I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him.” What you believe is reality. Period. That is really a huge statement and yet so easily read over. Let me say it this way, if you will teach and train yourself to take God’s word, and yes, even God Himself, at face value, then all that He has said will be your reality. What you believe is the truth you will live. Actually, the life you are living right now is that which you have believed in the past. If you want to up your game, believe bigger. God said that He was willing and able to do above and beyond all that you are able to imagine (Ephesians 3: 20). So . . . think bigger. Take Him at His word.

How can you teach yourself to believe God? You must commune with Him. There really is no other way. David learned to walk with God daily. He invested himself in the relationship. The more you come to know Yahweh personally, the more you will believe Him, the more you will believe His word with your heart, not only your mind. We have to learn to hang out with God more.

The other thing we should all do is to press our friends to become believers. It is a pain to be around me sometimes but when my Christian friends say something totally unbiblical, I nudge them, even correct them, if the truth were told. Why should I let my friends wallow in lies and deceit? I cannot. There are those, however, that I can’t teach, can’t train, can’t move. The veil of their Christianity is just too thin, and it may tear. You do have to leave those people where they are no matter how it pains you. Your committed friends though, hold them accountable for their words and beliefs and invite them to hold you accountable.

Let’s do this. Let’s push each other and ourselves to become Davidic believers, people who trust the Lord our God at least as much as David did. Maybe we could even believe God in the same fashion as Abraham whose belief was accounted as righteousness by God. Believe God. Take Him at His word. I dare you!

Run? I Think Not!

Psalm 11: 1

I have taken refuge in the Lord. How can you say to me: “Flee to your mountain like a bird?

I am happy to be back in a psalm of David. Not that the others are bad but there is a richness in his writing. I think what I like most is his authenticity and intimacy with the Lord.

Let me rephrase today’s verse just so you get the full flavor of it, “How can you say to me: ‘Flee to your mountain like a bird?’ I have taken refuge in the Lord.” Does it make better sense like that? I love the incredulity in David’s voice. “How dare you advise me, in your worldly wisdom, to flee. My sanctuary is the Lord!” I love his bold confidence in our God and his complete unwillingness to live below God’s covenant promises.

Why should we flee to the mountains? Why should we hide out in caves? Our hiding place is God Almighty! We reside in the palm of His hand. We little Christians are scurrying around all over the planet looking for help, looking for shelter. Fear and worry harangue our every move. It feels as though our enemy is as close as our shadow. That wasn’t David’s view though.

Listen to the words of King David as revealed from the Passion translation. He said, “Lord, don’t you hear what my well-meaning friends keep saying to me?” David’s reaction was,  “But don’t they know, Lord, that I have made you my only hiding place? Don’t they know that I always trust in you?” How could they advise David? They could not because they could not see from his perspective. In verse 5 we see David’s confidence because God is on His throne. All is under His eyes. Because of this, David knew all would be well.

Do you see why I love David so? I look forward to meeting him. I will tell him how his songs blessed me but even more how his faith in God and his absolute trust in the Almighty impacted my life. I hope you will let a little of David rub off on you as well.

Save the Wicked

Psalm 10: 15

Break the arm of the wicked and evil person. Punish his wickedness until you find no more.

This doesn’t seem a very Christian concept, does it? Yet, I wager most of us have felt the emotions articulated by this psalmist. You may wish to read the entire psalm, it isn’t long, in order to get the full flavor of this psalmist’s sentiments. He sees the poor and down trodden, the innocent, taken advantage of. He witnessed the arrogance of the wicked and their boasts that there is no God. No wonder in the last verses he adjures God to “Rise up.”

Why doesn’t God reach out his hand against these wicked people? Why doesn’t he just wipe them from the earth. I perceive two reasons why God does not simply obliterate them. First, He is love. If you know God and know that He is love, then that is always the first answer. Everything He does is colored by love. He wants these people saved rather than condemned. He wants all people to come to the full knowledge of His saving grace.

Second, He wants to give us room to exercise the authority He has given us. It sometimes appears that He is standing far off, but He actually is acting. He is nudging us, through His Holy Spirit, to defend the oppressed. We have been given the victory in Jesus and God’s plan is that we would enforce that victory. We have the sword of the Spirit and another mighty weapon, prayer. God is attempting to grow up His children so that we can take over the family business, now and through eternity. He has ministering spirits standing by, ready for action whenever we exercise our Kingdom Authority. That authority enables us to save the wicked and redeem the persecuted. We are not administrators of hate but rather of love and love is the most powerful force in the universe.

Pull out your sword and defend the weak. Wield your weapons and save the heart which is turned away from God for that is a brokenness that can be repaired by love.

Joyful Song

Psalm 9: 1 – 2

I will give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart. I will tell about all the miracles you have done. I will find joy and be glad about you.

What part of these verses do you like best? It’s all good, isn’t it. I was stopped by the part about telling of all His miracles.

This is another psalm of David. Are you beginning to hear and recognize his voice? Clearly David is passionate about his Lord and God. This passage is interesting to me because David declares what he will do. He isn’t asking the Father for anything. This is a celebration of Yahweh.
David was not without his problems and enemies and he did get around to one petition later in the psalm but it is almost a side statement. He wants to Lord to show him grace so that he can go on celebrating the greatness of God.

I look forward to meeting David in person. I want to tell him how much his words inspired and encouraged me. Here, at the bottom of my strength, with little to give I find David pouring out his heart to the Father and being grateful. Can we say, there is always breath enough to praise our God and speak thanksgiving? If there is breath for only one sentiment, should it be an entreaty or thanksgiving?

I quickly fall into whining and begging but David knew the Lord better than I do. He did his share of whining too, but he didn’t reside there. He lived in praise. Do you think David got the answer he wanted to every single prayer he offered? I don’t think so. None the less, his songs are not sorrowful. They are songs of praise, songs which celebrate the goodness of our God. David writes, “I will find joy and be glad about you.” That is a decision, an exercise of David’s will. That seems worth meditating on.

Status Check

Psalm 8: 3 – 6

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.

I think this is a good place for a Selah – stop and consider these words. That is where David was. He reflected on who we are, who God made us to be and that thought awed him. When we consider who God is and the vastness of His creative might we are brought up short. God has made us second only to Himself. We are only a little lower than God. How can that be? Look at humanity. Who are we that God should give us a thought?

And that is the point. We are His beloved. In His creation of us, He made us to rule and reign. Consider the majesty of His creation. The stars and planets are in perfect synchronicity. How do you even create a planet, much less put it in a system of other heavenly bodies so that they all perform a celestial dance in a rhythm that has gone on for thousands and even millions of years? Think of the majesty of the created animals that belong to this planet. Are they not amazing? I could have never come up with the plethora of life forms which grace the earth. I am not up to the task of reigning and caring for all the gloriousness of the Father’s creation and yet, He has said that we are made to be only a little lower than Himself. That is quite a statement.

Some translations ponder why God should give any thought to human beings saying that He has made them a little lower than angels. The translators clearly think that is too high a status for humans but, this is one of those occasions where they have simply gotten it wrong. Our self-esteem and the recognition of how lowly we can be interferes with the accuracy of translation here. The word used in this passage is Elohim. This is a word for God, so the passage is quite clear. God has made us second only to the God head. You have not been made lower than angels. Your position is above the angels and below God. A child is ranked more highly than an angel. You are a child of God. Though it can be hard to accept, the angels work for us as they work for God. What I have to say about that is that we need to learn to be in our proper place. In our rightful place with our head wrapped around who we are there is no egocentricity nor false humility. There is no weakness in our self-identity because we see ourselves in the reflection of who God is, not in anything we contribute. When we see ourselves outside of God, then, yes, who are we that God should take any notice of us at all. However, while David pondered this question, he marveled that we have been given the status of one step below God. We on the other hand see ourselves as worms of the dirt. Not only are we lower than angels but we may see ourselves and unworthy of any status. David was not hung up on this because he understood that his worthiness and ours is not a product of our labor or righteousness. Our status is derived solely from birth. We have been born into the family of the Lord God. It is He who has given us a title and status.

It seems that when people read this passage they stop with, “Yet You have made him a little lower than God.” That becomes the title sentence of the passage and it is on this sentence that people cogitate. I suggest we read on. Verses five and six read, “You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” Stop and ponder that. Move on from deliberating on why God would give us any status at all and move on to contemplating the status and the role, into which you have been placed. You, my beloved, have been crowned with glory and majesty. You were made to rule over all the works of the Father’s hands. You, dear reader, have all things under your feet, placed there by the Almighty Creator Himself.

If you can grasp that the Father means these words literally, it can change your life. It certainly changed David’s. In fact, the whole of David’s life was colored by this revelation. He knew full well that he was unworthy of any of the Father’s consideration, but he knew equally well that he was entitled to them all. You don’t even have to be a good child to inherit your Father’s name, or business or estate. You have only to be born into the family. David understood that. He knew he was an unworthy child of the king but a child none the less. If we will take this identity into our hearts and embrace our position with the Father, we too will move mountains and do great things.

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