A Good Investment.

Mark 10:29-30 KJV|

“29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”

The meditations of my heart.

Let_20the_20Words_20of_20my_20Mouth_20photo_originalPsalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Pastor Meyers preached a great message last night. The text was from Ezekiel, about the double-life the spiritual leaders were living. They portrayed one thing in public and before the preacher, but what went on in their hearts and in secret were quite contrary. I’m afraid that far to many Christians – at times, myself included – live and portray one reality before men, and another in their hearts.

Today’s Scripture reminded me how important the “meditation of my heart” is before the Lord. He sees, and is very much concerned about what goes on inside. Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the hearts, and the Bible says that He tries the hearts. I read a few days ago that “with the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure.” I wonder if the reason revival has not broken out, why our followers are stagnant, why our churches don’t produce true disciples, and why the Holy Spirit doesn’t work as He’s capable of working, is because we have one things going on outwardly, but like the church of Laodicea, another inwardly.

My prayer this morning is that “…the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Their Portion’s in This Life

world-is-not-my-homePsalm 17:13-15 “deliver my soul from the wicked… from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes. As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

I appreciate the honesty of the Psalmists. There’s no facade put up in their writings and singing. The thoughts of their heart are brought to the light before the Lord. One recurring subject we see is their notice of the prosperity of the “men of this world”. And of course, it’s hard not to notice. In this Psalm, David takes note of men whose bellies are full. They seem to have treasure. They are full of children (in context, a sign of blessing). And they even have an inheritance to pass down to their children.

David’s perspective in this passage is great, and helpful to us. Instead of questioning God’s provisions in his own life, or envying the wicked, David’s thoughts turn to the brevity of life and the reality of eternity. The men of the world only have their portion in this life – and then they die, and leave it behind. David realized, however, that he and God’s people find their satisfaction in eternal things. One day, he said, we will awake. One day, we will be like HIM. One day, we’ll behold his face in righteousness. And that is where our true reward, or true inheritance, and true “portion” come.

When we are tempted to covet the portion of those of this earth, let us remember that for them, it’s only in this life. They will pass on. They’ll leave it behind. But for us who live for eternity, our satisfaction is found in one day standing before the Lord, with an eternal portion and eternal rewards.

Talking to Myself?

4-reasons-why-talking-yourself-is-anything-but-crazy.1280x600Psalm 16:1-2 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;

Someone said, “talking to yourself is fine, but answering yourself is weird.” If most of us were honest, we’d admit that we talk to ourselves audibly sometimes. But this Psalm is talking about the conversation within the soul. David’s Psalm depicts a man speaking to his own soul.

I used to be too introspective, to my own detriment some times. And this was a result of the “conversations” and thoughts I’d have within. This Psalm is a great example of the types of conversations and meditations we should have. Because the Psalmist and the man in the Psalm meditated on the right things, the Psalm ends with praise and delight in the presence of God.

If I’m going to have the right perspective on life, and the right attitude toward the things of God, I must meditate on the right things. Psalm 1 shows that true success comes when we meditate on the things of God (His Word) day and night. The battle has been and will be for the minds of men. Let’s have the right conversations in our mind and soul.

Never Moved

twitter-listPsalm 15:5 …He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

This is another short Psalm (only 5 verses long) with some powerful truths. David starts the Psalm with a rhetorical question that he will answer himself throughout the Psalm. He then closes the Psalm with a promise that, those who do the things listed here, “shall never be moved.” What a promise! If there’s a list of things that would help me to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, I want to know what it is! Let’s see the list below:

  1. He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness – This man walks the right walk. He seeks to do good, not for salvation, but because of salvation.
  2. He speaks truth in his heart – All throughout Scripture we see the Lord’s desire for “truth in the inward parts”. This has two parts: first, is that we keep the truth (God’s Word) in our hearts. Secondly, is that we are real, genuine, and truthful in our hearts, as well as our outward lives.
  3. He backbiteth not – A man that will never be moved isn’t a slanderer. He isn’t out to pull another down, or to spread information that doesn’t need to be spread.
  4. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned – This man doesn’t keep company with vile people. It’s distasteful to him. He shuns it, and doesn’t think kindly on it, because he knows what it is and where it leads.
  5. He loves those that fear the Lord, and fears the Lord himself.
  6. He sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not – He values his own integrity so much that, if he puts his word to something, he’ll follow through, even if it’s to his own hurt or loss. Oh, how we need integrity like this in society, yea, in the church!
  7. He doesn’t use the innocent, poor, or susceptible – All throughout Scripture we see the Lord’s heart for the innocent, poor, and vulnerable. A man that won’t be moved and has God’s favor has His heart in this area.

How are we on this list? Let’s strive to keep it, that we might not be moved!

Change of heart

man-in-prayerPsalm 13:1-6 How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

With only 6 verses, this is one of the shorter chapters in the Bible. David prays a simple prayer, but I see a profound truth: prayer changes my heart. I see a man coming to the Lord with a complaint. He’s complaining at God’s seeming distance. He’s complaining about the sorrow in his heart. He talks about his enemies. He’s complaining about the potential mockery of those without. But as his eyes and heart are turned upward, something happens. He cannot help but think about God’s mercy. His heart cannot help but rejoice in God’s salvation. He cannot stop a song of praise from springing up within. And he begins to thank the Lord.

The same may ring true in my life. At times I find myself complaining. I find myself fretting about the future. Sometimes I find myself “drowning” in the present. But I see in this verse that there is one thing that can and will change my attitude and my heart – prayer. When I turn my thoughts and heart upward, I cannot help but see God’s mercy. I cannot help but be reminded of His grace. I can’t help but think of my salvation. And when my heart is in tune with HIM, and I experience these things, I must praise and thank Him.

When life comes our way (and it will – it’s life!), let us remember a simple truth from a short chapter – prayer makes the difference.

Help, Lord;

Help-Funny-Water-Bottle-PictureDavid stood on these two words. Over and over again in the Psalms, he turns to the Lord as his help, his shield, and his deliverer. When lonely, he said these words. When discouraged, he said these two words. When hunted, he said these two words. When in need of wisdom, he spoke these two word. When he suffered loss, he spoke these words. When he was forsaken, betrayed, or in derision, he looked to God with these two words. David understood the importance of turning to the Lord for help, no matter what situation life put him in.

These are encouraging words this morning. When I find myself in these same situations – and many will come during our journey on this earth – like David, I can speak these two words, and rest in the Lord.  David realized two things that we’d do well to apply today. First, David realized where his help came from. Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He realized that the creator of the universe can and will be our help and our shield – an encouraging though indeed! Secondly, once he sought out and made petition to the One that could help him, he waited on the Lord. Psalm 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.

When in need of help, let us, too, do these two things. Let us realize where true help comes from. Let us turn to the Lord with the words of David, “help, LORD.” Then, let us wait on the Lord.

Lay down and sleep

SleeplessManAtNight.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smartPsalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Less than half of Americans get the sleep we need. Of course, some of this is attributed to sickness, a new baby in the home (I can attest to this one!), or other factors outside of our control. But much of our sleeplessness is self-inflicted. Psalm 4:8 might seem like a simple verse, and I’d often skim over it. But I was convicted this morning. My mind immediately wondered to restless nights where my mind is racing, whether in fear, apprehension of the future, ruminating on problems, or other factors that unnecessarily keep me up at night.

What-keeps-even-the-best-project-leaders-awake-at-night-featured-image.pngIf there was one person who had an excuse to let his problems or anxieties keep him up, it was David. He was a wanted and hunted man. He had thousands of enemies. He had been betrayed, berated, and cast out. And yet in the midst of all of it, he could lay down, and sleep – with a serenity and peace that most don’t understand. Why? How? David sums it up in the last part of the verse: “for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.” David realized that it wasn’t anything he could do that night that would make him any safer, his problems any better, or his enemies any less. He realized that there was one Person that could – the Lord, and as He said, ONLY the Lord.

When I realize that it is the Lord that keeps me safe, and the Lord Who orchestrates the events of my life, and the Lord Who holds my future, and guides as I seek Him, there’s no reason for long, anxious nights. I can pillow my head in peace. I can rest in full assurance in His hand and in His grace. So – the next time problems, anxieties, enemies, or fears come our way during the “night sessions”, let us turn our eyes and thoughts upward, realizing, as David did, that it’s ONLY the Lord that causes us to dwell safely.

Trust in Him.

FILE-20160228-16375CD7KVM9LCM9Psalm 2:11-12 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

If this Psalm (written 1000 years prior) doesn’t foretell of Christ’s coming as King of the Jews and the earth, I don’t know what does. All the way back in Psalms, I’m thanking God for Jesus Christ – the King, the Son, and the Savior. He’s found throughout the Word of God – because it all testifies of Him! Might He rule and reign in my heart – as the Son of God, the Saviour, and the King that He rightfully is.


gods-word-is-love.jpg Psalm 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Our society delights in many things. I think of how much we delight in our food. There is a plethora of cooking shows, blogs, social media sites, culinary arts schools, and much more. We used to eat to live. Now many live to eat! Many delight in today’s media. Whether social media, email, television, or movies, the amount of time people spend daily, infatuated with today’s media, proves their delight in it. We could talk about cars, houses, careers, money, physical fitness, beauty and cosmetics, and more that people delight in today.

Delighting in the things above might make one successful in the world’s eyes. But God’s formula for success is found elsewhere. He says a successful man is one whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” The question this morning is “do I delight in God’s law?” Do I delight more in a sizzling ribeye that comes off the grill and onto my plate? Do I delight in cosmetic accessories more than in reading and receiving from God’s word? Do I receive more delight in the newest iOS or Android device than in meditating on God’s Word?

Successful living will not, cannot be found in these things. It will be found in delighting myself in God’s law. Do we read it daily? Do we read it with the intent and expectation of receiving something? Do our thoughts ponder on God’s Word throughout the day? Let the Word’s of the Psalmist ring true today when he said, “Oh, how I love thy law. It is my meditation all the day.”