En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘pray’

A New Testament Guide on What We Should Pray For in 2009?

Posted by Scott on January 1, 2009

What Should We Pray For?



One way to answer this question is to look at what the early church prayed for. Here is a list gathered from the New Testament. It can guide you in how you pray. I suggest that periodically you pray through this list just to test whether your prayers are leaving out anything the New Testament included. We don’t have to pray all of these each time we pray. But over time it would be good if our prayers had the breadth and depth of the New Testament prayers.

They called on God to exalt his name in the world.

Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name (Matthew 6:9).

They called on God to extend his kingdom in the world.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10 ).

They called on God that the gospel would run and triumph.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

They called on God for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13; cf. Ephesians 3:19).

They called on God to vindicate his people in their cause.

And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? (Luke 18:7).

They called on God to save unbelievers.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved (Romans 10:1).

They called on God to direct the use of the sword.

“Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying through all prayer and supplication on every occasion . . .” (Ephesians 6:17-18)

They called on God for boldness in proclamation.

Pray at all times in the Spirit . . . and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:18-19)

And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness (Acts 4:29).

They called on God for signs and wonders.

And now Lord . . . grant your servants to speak thy word with boldness . . . while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:30).

Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit (James 5:17 -18).

They called on God for the healing of wounded comrades.

Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up (James 5:14-15).

They called on God for the healing of unbelievers.

It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery; and Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him (Acts 28:8).

They called on God for the casting out of demons.

And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29)

They called on God for miraculous deliverances.

So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church . . . When he realized [he had been freed], he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying (Acts 12:5,12).

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake (Acts 16:25-26).

They called on God for the raising of the dead.

But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up (Acts 9:40).

They called on God to supply his troops with necessities.

Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

They called on God for strategic wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him (James 1:5).

They called on God to establish leadership in the outposts.

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed (Acts 14:23).

They called on God to send out reinforcements.

Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Matthew 9:38).

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off (Acts 13:2-3).

They called on God for the success of other missionaries.

I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, (Romans 15:30-31).

They called on God for unity and harmony in the ranks.

I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20-21).

They called on God for the encouragement of togetherness.

[We are] praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? (1 Thessalonians 3:10).

They called on God for a mind of discernment.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more in with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10).

They called on God for a knowledge of his will.

And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).

They called on God to know him better.

[We have not ceased to pray for you to be] increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10 ; cf. Ephesians 1:17 ).

They called on God for power to comprehend the love of Christ.

I bow my knees before the Father . . . that you may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:14,18).

They called on God for a deeper sense of assured hope.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers . . . that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:16,18).

They called on God for strength and endurance.

[We have not ceased to pray for you to be] strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Colossians 1:11 ; cf. Ephesians 3:16).

They called on God for deeper sense of his power within them.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers . . . that you may know . . . what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:16, 19).

They called on God that their faith not be destroyed.

I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren (Luke 22:32).

Watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36).

They called on God for greater faith.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 ; cf. Ephesians 3:17).

They called on God that they might not fall into temptation.

Lead us not into temptation (Matthew 6:13).

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

They called on God that he would complete their resolves.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

They called on God that they would do good works.

[We have not ceased to pray for you that you] lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work (Colossians 1:10).

They called on God or forgiveness for their sins.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:12).

They called on God for protection from the evil one.

Deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13).


© Desiring God

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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Christian Persecution Update in India!

Posted by Scott on October 2, 2008

 

Three More Christians Killed in Orissa; Opposition Reported in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Thousands of Christians, like this woman, were made homeless by attacks led by Hindu extremists in Orissa, India.

Three more believers were martyred and twelve others were severely wounded in a fresh wave of violence in Orissa, India, on September 30. The latest attacks occurred in villages near Kandhamal, which has been the epicenter of violence against Christians since August 22.

The violence in Orissa came as attacks in two other Indian states targeted a Christian pastor and a Bridge of Hope center.

An estimated 30 Christians have been killed and thousands of others have lost their homes since Hindu extremists went on a rampage after their leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati was murdered. His followers are seeking revenge for his death, for which Christians have been blamed. However, Maoists have claimed responsibility for the murder.

A Gospel for Asia correspondent in Orissa said Tuesday’s attacks came at 4:30 a.m. when mobs of as many as 5,000 Hindu extremists attacked three separate villages. The extremists burned down about 150 homes and three churches. The Indian media reports that police opened fire in an attempt to disperse the violent forces.

The mob also reportedly attacked the local police station, demanding that two people arrested in connection with the ongoing riots be released. Media reports from within the country also indicate that the extremists have blocked all roads in and out of the area of the attack with rocks and boulders to prevent police from bringing in additional forces.

Since the violence began August 22, six people who attended GFA-related churches in Orissa have been killed by the Hindu extremists, who have personally attacked more than 2,000 believers from these churches. The extremists have also burned down 630 homes belonging to believers who attend GFA-related churches and destroyed 22 churches where GFA missionaries serve as pastors.

Many Christians are still hiding out in the dense jungles surrounding their villages. They are suffering from the effects of starvation, disease and monsoon flooding that wrecked the state in September.

With the continued violence and the roads blocked, it is impossible for GFA Compassion Services teams to get into Orissa to distribute aid.

Missionary Beaten in Uttar Pradesh

Gospel for Asia missionaries are also dealing with persecution in Uttar Pradesh, where Hindu extremists have attacked a pastor and have set their sights on a Bridge of Hope center.

On October 1, the extremists attacked a Bridge of Hope center and a church in Magapatti, Uttar Pradesh. The pastor of the church, who is a GFA missionary, was badly beaten in the attacks.

Hindu extremists continue their campaign to obliterate Christians in Orissa, India. On Tuesday, they destroyed another 150 homes like this one, along with three churches.

The extremists have been systematically threatening the parents of the children in the Bridge of Hope center for the past few weeks. The center was closed as a precaution and no children were on site when the extremists attacked the missionary.

Christian Aid Workers Forced Out of Bihar

Another gang of anti-Christian extremists forced out Christian aid workers attempting to help survivors of flooding in Bihar. The incident occurred on September 25 in the state’s Purnia district where aid workers were assessing needs and handing out cards for people to exchange for supplies. The group was planning to help at least 2,500 families.

The extremists accused the group of taking advantage of the situation to lure the people into Christianity by offering relief materials.

The aid workers, who have been in Bihar since September 1, were able to move their base to another area and continue operations.

GFA missionaries in the affected areas shared the following prayer requests:

  • Please pray for the families of those killed in Orissa, that they would be comforted by the Word of God and that they would remain strong in the midst of intense persecution.
  • Pray for those wounded in Tuesday’s attacks. Several of them have life-threatening injuries and are not expected to live. Pray for their healing and that it would be a testimony of God’s glory.
  • Pray for the people hiding in the jungles and those living in relief camps. Pray especially that God would provide a way for Compassion Services teams to reach them.
  • Pray for healing for the missionary in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pray that the Bridge of Hope center in that community would be able to reopen and that the children could go to school without fear.
  • Pray for the many Christian organizations attempting to distribute relief supplies in Bihar.
  • Pray for the extremist and militant groups who are opposing the Gospel to come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Orissa News and Media Updates


PhotoShow: Orissa in Ruins

PhotoShow: Persecution In Pictures

Persecution Update: September 15, 2008

Video Update: August 28, 2008

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Message from Orissa: “God is in Control”

posted: 09/05/2008

Juria Bardhan, Gospel for Asia’s Orissa State Leader

Juria Bardhan, Gospel for Asia’s state leader in Orissa, India, knows what it’s like to be hunted by anti-Christian extremists bent on killing him. During the past two weeks, he has seen dozens of churches burned to the ground. He has seen missionaries and Christians beaten and killed. But during all these horrific attacks, Juria has had one thought.

“We know the Lord is in control,” Juria said in an interview Thursday.

Juria’s comments may sound naïve to Western ears, but to Christians in volatile parts of Asia, they ring true. They expect persecution rather than peace. They know that to follow Christ means choosing to bring more trouble into their lives. They also know that Christians standing strong in the face of such trials encourages others to follow Christ.

“The encouraging thing is that the attackers themselves acknowledge that Orissa used to be only 2 percent Christian, and now it’s 28 percent Christian,” Juria said. “They don’t understand that by doing this, the church will grow by leaps and bounds, and this will cause thousands to come to Christ.”

Juria said his pastors are not complaining about the abuse heaped upon them. Instead they are glorifying God for the opportunity to share in His sufferings.

“Many of our pastors have said, ‘Even if they kill us, no problem. This will cause thousands to come to Christ,’ ” he reported.

Juria said that things are improving somewhat in the cities, but the persecution continues unabated in more remote areas. Orissan Christians are accustomed to harassment, but Juria noted that this wave of attacks, which began August 22 after the murder of a popular Hindu leader, is different.

“Last time, the persecution was restricted to only one district. During the last six months, they planned this out, and now nine districts are under attack,” he noted.

Juria reports that six people have been killed, and 27 GFA-related churches and more than 800 homes of Christians have been ransacked and destroyed since the violence began.

At least 24 Gospel for Asia missionaries have been attacked, some joining the thousands of Christians who are seeking refuge in the forests, where they remain without adequate food or shelter.

Juria said that the Hindu extremists have made a list of demands, including:

  • Stop conversions … They accuse Christian missionaries of forcing people to convert to Christianity or using false allurements, such as money or jobs, to get them to follow Christ.
  • No more slaughtering of cows … Cows are considered holy in the Hindu religion.
  • All church buildings should be verified … The extremists want to place additional restrictions on Christian churches that do no exist for Hindu temples.
  • Christian churches and related non-governmental (charitable) organizations should be banned … This would prevent any Christian work that helps the poor.
  • Anyone occupying tribal land must vacate it … Most Orissan Christians are from low castes and live on tribal land that was settled generations ago. This would essentially force all Christians to move out of the area.

The extremists are also on a campaign to “reconvert” Christians back to Hinduism. They are threatening people at knifepoint, saying they will die if they do not agree to offer pujas (prayers and ceremonial acts) to Hindu gods and goddesses.

One missionary was attacked and threatened unless he performed a puja. He refused to turn his back on Christ, so they beat him again and told him to stay away from the village where he had been working, but he would not agree to do this.

“Even if you kill me, I will not make a vow that I will never come back; that depends not on me but on the Lord. If he wants to send me here, then I will come,” he told his attackers.

He was discouraged when he saw some of the same people he had prayed for and helped in the past now ready to kill him. But his life was spared when an elderly villager, seeing his strong commitment, convinced the mob to let him go.

One Christian who attends a GFA-related church gave his life rather than turn his back on Christ. The extremists were trying to get him to participate in a Hindu ceremony that involved shaving his head, putting cow dung on it and then sacrificing a goat. When he refused, he was killed and his body hacked into pieces.

Juria reports that the extremists are now using women to lead the Hindu mobs. They believe that if a woman is in front, the government will not take action against them. Several of these mobs of women have even caused disruptions in some of the relief camps.

Juria does not expect the volatile situation in Orissa to change anytime soon. He theorizes that the extremists will continue the campaign of terror and religious emotion until the next general election. There are several powerful Hindu political parties in the country. Juria says they may be trying to exploit the fear of the people to get into power. There is also a rumor that the extremists are planning to carry the ashes of the murdered leader, along with his photo, to villages throughout the country. They hope that the emotional response will cause another round of unrest.

He asks that Christians would continue praying for Orissa. Here are some of the specific requests.

  • Pray for peace and harmony in Orissa and that families will be able to return to their villages.
  • Pray for relief work to go on unhindered.
  • Pray for the health, safety and security of the people living in the forests.
  • Ask the Lord for mercy in providing new homes for the people who have lost theirs.
  • Continue to lift up the missionaries who are obvious targets of the persecutors. The extremists are looking for what they consider to be a high-ranking Christian leader to kill in revenge for the death of their leader.
  • Pray that the Christians will remain firm in their faith and that their commitment to Jesus will remain stronger than any fear they have.

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The Desires of Our Heart!

Posted by Scott on April 30, 2008

In my morning studies it was wonderful to come across this passage of scripture again.  I have read this passage many times before, but this morning the meditation on this passage was fruitful in my life.

Psalm 1:2-3  “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”

Delighting ourselves in the Lord requires daily meditation upon the word of God.  Think of the requirement for our physical health by eatting numerous times per day.  The mediatation of God’s word is the same way.  We need to feast upon God’s word in order to sustain a healthy and growing spiritual life. 

This is like the tree mentioned in the passage.  We are like this tree to God.  A tree planted by a stream of water grows slowly but surely over time.  It has a fresh supply of water daily that never runs dry.  As the tree grows slowly as we grow slowly it will yield its fruit in its season.  We too will yield fruit that glorifies God in its proper season as well.  This tree’s leaves never wither due to lack of nurishment or water.  As we are planted near God always, He is our constant source of nurishment and fresh water. 

The scriptures have only one true authentic meaning or translation, yet it yields numerous applications for our lives.  As we study on God’s word daily and come across the same passage from time to time, we will find a different application many times within the same verse of scripture.  The depth to the well of God never ends.  The well on top looks the same as always, but the water drawn from it is just as rich as the first water ever drawn…God’s word is the same, rich with every reading.  God knows exactly what we need in application of His word at each moment of our life. 

Other scriptures to meditate on about “Delighting in Him” are:  Joshua 1:8  Meditate on God’s word constantly and be careful to obey what you read as it applies.  1 Timothy 4:15 Be very diligent in meditating on the word of God.  Be sure to give yourself completely to the Word of God and be careful to obey what you have read as it applies.  Isaiah 58:13-14 Keep one day holy as the Sabbath to honor Him, Glorify Him, and worship Him.  In this we will delight in Him even more.  Psalm 63:5-6 The evening is an especially good time to meditate on His word taking us into the night.  God calls evening the first day in Genesis 1:5.  What we meditate on in the evening that takes us into our rest at night effects how we start our next morning.  Pslam 119:23 Do not be bothered by those around you who may redicule or slander you.  Just keep meditating on God’s word.  Look to the Bible for counsel.  Meditate on the decrees and statutes.  Psalm 119:99-100 Wisdom comes from meditating on the word of God.  This produces a better understanding of this life and the life to come.  You wil find yourself witha better understanding than your teachers and counselors and elders.  Continue to be odedient to His word and the understanding you now have.  1 Samuel 13:14 We find God calling David “a man after His own heart”.  Why?  David meditated on the word of God, he would wake up in the middle of the night to meditate on the word of God and was always thinking upon the ways of God and His awesomeness in his life.  Psalm 37:4 We are to make the Lord the delight of our life.  In this way He will give us the desires of our heart because we now have the desires He wants in our heart.  Through meditating on the word of God constantly we will understand what it is God intends for us to desire.  God transforms us through His word.  If we do not spend much time in the scriptures how can we expect to know what it is God desires for us? 

Truth to apply:

1. Meditation on the word of God transforms our thoughts to God’s thoughts and desires. 

2. Begin our day in the evenings as our last thoughts being on God’s word.  This will influence the dreams and rest we have at night to assist in the start of a brand new morning.

3. Psalm 1:2-3 He tells us that we will prosper in all that we do if we constantly meditate and read His word.  Why is this?  Because the word of God is a light to our path.  He guides us by His word.  This leads us away from evil counselors and unfruitful activities.  It is important to our faithfulness to meditate on His word daily.  “Prosper” in the Hebrew is tsalach or tsaleach meaning to “push forward” or “come mightily”…it is also to be “profitable” to make “profitable”.  God intends to supply us and use us for His purposes.  For some that could mean financial wealth to be used to further His kingdom and for others it could mean a wealth of knowledge and wisdom beyond our years that can be used to further His kingdom.  Prosperity comes in different shapes and sizes.  I do not think it means many cars and houses, but the wealth is to be given out as God directs and may be needed to further ministries that struggle to keep going or supply families with needed resources during difficult times in their lives.  We are simply to stay in His word constantly in order to know the direction we are to take and how to use that which He prospers us with.

4. Meditation can assist in helping us go to sleep easier.  However, at times it may dislodge impure thoughts in our minds that results in a bad dream.  This is simply purifying our minds and hearts for the fresh new morning ahead.  Refer to John 15:3..the word provided by Christ cleans us and restores our hearts for His greater use on a daily basis.

2 Timothy 3:16-17  “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Continue in the reading and meditating of God’s word regardless of the direction of this world.  Only His word has sustaining power that leads us into eternity.

Scott Bailey 2008

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I Enjoy the Psalm’s!

Posted by Scott on April 18, 2008

I thoroughly enjoy reading in the Psalm’s.  It is my habit to study and read in Psalm each morning.  Along with my studies I try to go to the Hebrew meanings of many of the words used within the text.  What I learn by studying this way is what the writer was thinking and trying to say to us….what God was conveying through these writers thousands of years ago.  I want to be as close to the mind of the writer of the text as I can be.  It does not matter what any verse says to me or what I “think” a verse is saying.  What matters is what the original writer intended each verse of scripture to mean.  Any opinions of mine is really not worthy of printing or using my breath on.

In studying Psalm 36 David is delivering an oracle concerning the sinful wickedness of the day he was living.  An oracle is a “divine speech or comment”…it comes from God through the heart and mind of the writer.  During this time people were living willfully in sin without any thought towards their own sinfulness.  These people thought they were very cute, so to speak, flattering themselves and could not see their own sin.

After a brief scolding of the wickedness, David tells us about God’s love.  This love spoken about in verse 5 is a loyal, covenant, faithful love that each of us as believers can count on without fail.  The Lord loves each of His people with this kind of love.  Then he ask God to preserve both man and beast.  You know God’s wrath could have fallen heavy upon this land and these people…wiping out each living person and all living creatures, but He did not.

Then David goes into a short, but very indepth look at just who our God is.  “How priceless is Your love”.  This is excellent, merciful love…no greater love than the love of our God.  Can you see why David was constantly speaking of the awesomeness of His God, our God?  Although David was living in such a wicked land among very wicked people, he could still see and experience a great God. 

Do you ever find yourself looking for a place of refuge, a place to rest upon something or someone mighty and huge?  Our God is such a place we can take refuge in. Both the heavenly celestial beings on high, the angels,  to God’s chosen people here on earth we can find refuge in the shadow of His wings.  He will cover us, protect us, allow us to rest under His wings.

“They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from Your river of delights.”  

What an awesome God we have that we can delight or be satisfied in Him.  He has overflowing abundance to the point we can find our fullness feasting at God’s table.  This is a prophetic promise of God.  Can you imagine drinking or drawing from the river of God’s great pleasure, His delight?  God desires that we delight in Him.  “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him…”  by John Piper.  It is in the times that are most difficult in our lives that we must find our delight in God…not just when times are good.  Most of life on this earth will be difficult, so to live out this life victoriously our satisfaction must be found in nothing less than our Lord. 

“For with You is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” 

Ah, the depth of the well or fountain of God is never ending…this living water will never stop flowing to His people.  The satisfaction it brings, the purity found in this “living” water, life itself is found here.  If you want to “awaken to your life’s purpose”, then look no further than our awesome God, “Elohim” the all powerful, supreme God and “Adonai” the sovereign, divine master Lord.  David experienced God in such a tremendous way.  For as he looked upon the light of God which is the brightness of God’s face he experienced and enjoyed the true happiness of God. 

I can imgane David not even taking a breath during this brief glorification of God.  As David pondered on these thoughts about God how could one really even take a breath…our God is breath taking!  Then after a huge sigh, David ask God to continue His love to the believers and His righteousness to those believers upright hearts.  In the end of all this wickedness he describes God tells us through David that these people who live in wickedness will not stand for they have fallen, thrown down and cannot get up.  Why can they not get up?  Because God has crushed them under His feet.  Why do worship any other person or being?  Why do think so little about our God.  The Lord “Adonai” sovereignly guides us, has a plan for our life that will not be altered by any of our actions.  He will work His perfect plan to the end.

In Christ,

Scott

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Repentance! by Ray C. Stedman

Posted by Scott on April 16, 2008

by Ray C. Stedman

READ: Genesis 3:10-13

“Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and ate it. “Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11b-13).

There is something very interesting here. God asks essentially the same question to both the man and the woman. He is saying to each, “Tell me, what is it that you did? Specifically, definitely, clearly what is it that you did?” But there is an exquisite touch of delicacy and grace here that we ought not to miss. He does not put the question in the same form to Adam and Eve. To the man, He is forthright and blunt: “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” But to the woman He puts the question much more softly and gently.

It is comforting to me to realize how fully God understands women, so that He puts the question to her very gently. He says, “Tell me in your own way, now, what is this that you have done?” It is significant that in their answers, both Adam and Eve come out at the same place. Each blames someone else (we call this human nature, as it is such a widespread, universal response), but when they come to their final statement, they both use exactly the same words: “and I ate.”

That is where God wants to bring them. That is what the Bible calls repentance. It is a candid statement of the facts with no attempt now to evade them, color them, or clothe them in any other form. It is a simple, factual statement to which they are both reduced: “and I ate.”

Notice how these questions have followed a designed course. God has made them first admit, “We’re not where we ought to be—we know that. We ought not to be hidden in the garden. We ought not to be lost. We ought not to require a question like this: “Where are you?” God has made them see that something has happened within them. They have seen that they are where they are because of what they are, and all of this has happened because they disobeyed, because they ate the forbidden food, they sinned. God has led them graciously, and yet unerringly, to the place where each of them, in their own way, has said, “Yes, Lord, I sinned; I ate.”

That is as far as people can ever go in correcting evil. They can do no more than that. But that immediately provides the ground for God to act. This is where He constantly seeks to bring us, because it provides Him with the only ground upon which He can act. You can see this throughout the whole Bible, in the Old and New Testament alike. When God is dealing with people, He seeks to bring them to the place where they acknowledge what is wrong.

This is what God wants to do with us. He finds us in our failure, our estrangement, our guilt, our sense of nakedness and loss, and immediately He moves to bring us to repentance. We misunderstand His moving. We think He is dragging us before some tribunal in order to chastise us or punish us, but He is not. He is simply trying to get us to face the facts as they are. That is what He does here with Adam and Eve.

Thank you, Lord, for the way in which You bring me to this place of repentance. Help me not to hide, but to bring my sin to light that I might experience your grace and mercy.

This daily devotion was inspired by one of Ray’s sermons. Please read “God At Work” (or listen to the audio file  Listen to Ray) for more on this portion of scripture.

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Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose! Eckhart Tolle

Posted by Scott on April 11, 2008

“I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth…for the first heaven and first earth had passed away”.     Revelation 21:1

I have been watching and listening intently at many actors and actresses as they describe what this New Earth book by Eckhart Tolle means to them.  With such terms as “a new conscienceness” or “a new earth” being thrown around.  I watched and listened to the sincerity of each of them including other people who are simply a follower of Oprah.  I even have studied Oprah through all of this and how she is changing daily because of this “new revelation” from this book.  So, I wanted to try to be brief and clear about what is taking place here.  As many people are looking for the meaning of life, true peace, true happiness, and true joy.  Many of these same people are also looking for riches, glory, honor, and influence that they have never had before.  I would ask that anyone contemplating turning their hearts and eternity over to this “new conscienceness” to listen and meditate closely on what is presented within this text.

Galatians 1:6 [ There Is Only One Good News ] I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News.”

First items I heard was the different words used that you will hear in Christianity and other religions.  This can throw many people off are not versed in the scriptures.  Psalm 26:2-3 it tells us “Test me, O Lord, and try me.  Examine my heart and my mind, for your love is ever before me…”  I would encourage you to first ask God to examine your heart and mind to see if it is of a sound doctrine.  God will show us through His word, the Bible, if we are on the right track or not.  We know that many will come say they have found a “new way”, “new light”, new revelation”, or even the way to a “new earth”…however, this does not mean it is the truth.  God’s word tells us also that our ways are not God’s ways nor is our thoughts God’s thoughts.  So, we cannot believe for a moment that we have discovered anything new or discovered the secret to God.  For a few thousand years now we have found in the bible the true way to a personal relationship with God.  This personal relationship is as real as two people setting across from each other at a table talking.  This “new earth” way is not a personal realtionship with God…there is no God in the Tolle philosophy.  Do you want a rock you can stand on?  Do you want someone that has felt your pain and died for your depraved mind and heart?  Would you like to settle the issue of eternity while you live your life on earth?  Would you like to be able to get through those lowest times in your life with a spiritual being carrying you through?  This is all found in Jesus Christ.  He will deliver true peace, true joy, true happiness, true prosperity…not this feel good methodology.  God never ask that you empty your mind like Tolle tells his people and meditate.  God wants you to meditate on His word…He will direct you and teach you something from that, not an empty mind listening to whatever spirit blows across your mind.  The most dangerous thing in the world is emptying your minds to nothing.  Look to the authority of the scriptures, the holiness of a sovereign God and to the loving righteousness of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus tells us in John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” 

Now, I would ask Eckhart Tolle and Oprah from what authority they preach and teach this book to millions of people?  One must have authority before they can make such claims as they do.  The Bible is time tested and has survived each test…however, this new book has not survived the test of even a years time yet.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  Now, I ask again, by what authority does Oprah and Eckhart preach and teach the themes within Tolle’s new book?  They have no authority from heaven, but possible from the millions of people that have cleared their minds to winds of any spirit travelling by at the moment.  This is not authority, but it is mindless popularity.  Millions of people are willing to place their eternity in the hands of a paperback book written by a non-authority in eternal things.  This puzzles me somewhat, that this many people are willing to empty their minds to something that is not proven nor will it be proven unless it is to be false.

Many people have been taught incorrectly in churches for decades by unholy men or unknowledgable men.  These men did not convey the love within the pages of God’s word.  They did not expound on the word correctly for the most part either to the point that legalism took the place of true Christianity.  C.S. Lewis plainly spoke one time, “It is Christ Himself not the Bible who is the true Word of God.  The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good leaders, will bring us to Him.”  The mistake for decades has been worshipping the words on a page or a book rather than the power behind the words on those pages which is found in Jesus Christ.  John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.”  Who is the Word?  It is Jesus Christ.  Who was with God in the beginning?  Jesus! 

What is our life’s purpose?  It is to bring glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ in all things.  The beauty of the earth was to bring glory to God.  The suffering of Jesus was to glorify the Father in heaven.  Our life is to honor and love Christ regardless what we are going through.  God wants you and I to delight in Him.  Not when we are buying a new car, house, or clothes neccessarily, but when we are walking through the dark valley of death, when we are sick and dying in a hospital, when a child or loved one is killed suddenly, or when we are bankrupt financially with no end in sight….this is when God wants us to delight in Him in all things.  “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4.  Does this mean if we desire a new car then we call out to our magic Geni and He will deliver a new car?  No, it means that if we will delight in Him, then our hearts can be tested and found to be one with Him…this results in our desires matching up with God’s.  Our desires will then want nothing less than honor and glory for Him…new cars, new houses, new clothes, and new things will not even be in the picture…our personal relationship with Jesus will replace those earthly, selfish desires.

Throughout all of scripture, if we are at one with our Lord, we can find our loving Jesus in every book of the bible from Genesis to Revelation.  It is more than inspiring…it is life transforming.  Read the list below of who Christ is throughout the entire Bible:

HE IS!

In Genesis He is the breath of life

In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb

In Leviticus He is our high priest

In Numbers He is the fire by night

In Deuteronomy He is Moses’ voice

In Joshua He is salvation’s choice

In Judges He is the law giver

In Ruth He is our kinsmen-redeemer

In First & Second Samuel He is our trusted prophet

In Kings & Chronicles He is sovereign

In Nehemiah He is the re-builder of broken walls and lives

In Esther He is Mordecai’s courage

In Job He is the timeless redeemer

In Psalms He is our morning song

In Proverbs He is wisdom’s cry

In Ecclesiastes He is the time and seasons

In Solomon He is the lover’s dream

In Isaiah He is the Prince of Peace

In Jeremiah He is the weeping prophet

In Lamentations He is the cry for Israel

In Ezekial He is the call from sin

In Daniel He is the stranger in the fire

In Hosea He is forever faithful

In Joel He is the spirit’s power

In Amos He is the arms that carry us

In Obadiah He is the Lord our Savior

In Jonah He is the great missionary

In Micah He is the promise of peace

In Nahum He is our strength and our shield

In Habakkuk & Zephaniah He is pleading for revival

In Zechariah He is our fountain

In Malachi he is the sun of righteousness rising with healing in His wings

In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John He is God, Man, Messiah

In Acts He is the fire from heaven

In Romans He is the grace of God

In the Corinthians He is the power of love

In Galatians He is freedom from the curse of sin

In Ephesians He is our glorious treasure

In Phillipians He is the servant’s heart

In Colossians He is the Godhead Trinity

In Thessalonians He is our coming King

In Timothy, Titus and Philemon He is our mediator and our faithful pastor

In Hebrews He is the everlasting covenant

In James He is the One who heals the sick

In Peter He is our Shepherd

In John and Jude He is the lover coming for His bride

and In Revelation He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, The Son of Man, the Lamb of God, the Great “I AM”…He is the alpha and omega, Our God and Savior….He is Jesus Christ the Lord.

You see there is no new conscienceness or new revelation…the only new earth will be after Jesus comes back after He has defeated the wicked on this earth…after the old heaven and earth are gone away then comes the new Jerusalem here on earth.  God has and always will be the same yesterday, today, and in the future.  He is outside of time and is not bound by our time.  He is the awesome God of the Universe and beyond.  If you want to awaken to your life’s purpose…then give your heart and soul to Christ, not some new age philosophy out of a book that really has no meaning at all.  Do not trust your eternity to mindless talk and philosophies…trust your eternity to the God who created you and wants you to be with Him for all eternity.

Oprah and Eckhart, there is only one way to heaven, to the heavenly Father, to a true relationship with God…that is through Jesus Christ our Lord Who sets at the right hand of the Father today.  There is no other way regardless of what any man walking this earth from past to present tells you.  Jesus tells us “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate  and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”  Further He tells us “I Am the gate, whoever enters through Me will be saved.”  This New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and is being taught by its new false prophet, Oprah Winfrey, is the broad road….it looks good, sounds great, is just what man thinks in his own depraved heart he is looking for….how could it be bad when it does so much good?  I tell you now that this broad road, this new earth, this new conscienceness only leads to destruction.  Oprah said in public and denied that Jesus Christ was the only way…this was a public denial of the deity of Jesus Christ and will lead to her ultimate destruction.  I plead with anyone listening to not fall for it or travel down that path…stay with the narrow way, the small gate which is Jesus!

To read more about the real New Heaven and New Earth just click here!

-Scott Bailey 2008

 

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Breaking the Silence of the Morning!

Posted by Scott on March 24, 2008

Have you ever gone through a period of time not knowing what to pray?  Deep from within yourself your body groans and aches for an answer from the Lord or even to come up with words to express your heart to God, but those words just do not come about!  I think almost everyone that is honest about their spiritual lives experience this at different times in their lives.  This very morning was such a morning for me.  As I woke up early in the darkness of the morning still looking for God to answer several prayers yet today I just did not feel I knew what to pray, ask for, or even meditate on.  In the way the Lord usually takes my inner hurts and springs forth life in me, He showed me a chapter in Psalm that continues to sustain me through some of the darkest hours, loneliest days, and still of nights.  The following passage was such a joy and direct answer to prayer I wanted to share it with you. You can certainly read it in whatever version you wish, I included two versions as I usually study from several different versions in order to fully take it all in…I don’t like to miss anything from God’s word.  May you enjoy it and may it take your breath away if you have been looking for direction, answers, words, and for our Lord to break His silence in your life.  May the God of this very hour be honored by the reading and sharing of His holy word!

  

Psalm 20 (The Message)

A David Psalm

 1-4 God answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
   Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
   Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
   Exclaim over your offerings,
   Celebrate your sacrifices,
   Give you what your heart desires,
   Accomplish your plans.
 5 When you win, we plan to raise the roof
      and lead the parade with our banners.
   May all your wishes come true!

 6 That clinches it—help’s coming,
      an answer’s on the way,
      everything’s going to work out.

 7-8 See those people polishing their chariots,
      and those others grooming their horses?
      But we’re making garlands for God our God.
   The chariots will rust,
      those horses pull up lame—
      and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

 9 Make the king a winner, God;
      the day we call, give us your answer.

Psalm 20 (NIV)

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
       may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
       and grant you support from Zion.

 3 May he remember all your sacrifices
       and accept your burnt offerings.
      
Selah

 4 May he give you the desire of your heart
       and make all your plans succeed.

 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
       and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
       May the LORD grant all your requests.

 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
       he answers him from his holy heaven
       with the saving power of his right hand.

 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
       but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

 8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
       but we rise up and stand firm.

 9 O LORD, save the king!
       Answer [a] us when we call!

May this chapter of scripture be a blessing to all who read and meditate on it.  God’s never ending blessings upon us today!

“Heavenly Father, we humbly pray that You will teach us to draw upon Your well of spiritual water, to know that every demand made upon us as husbands, dads, and men is a direct demand made upon You as well, and Lord, we know that as these demands pile upon us You are ready to live Your life through each of us in all situations and at last to magnify Your grace.  AMEN!”

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

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Praying through Difficult Times…Psalm 5!

Posted by Scott on March 5, 2008

Guys, if you are like me praying can be difficult to do sometimes.  I mean, just to set down with enough time to effectively pray from our heart and mind.  Many times just finding the words to say can be difficult as we are down or depressed.  As easy as many preachers and teachers will tell you praying is, it is not that easy sometimes.  Throughout the past several years I have found it fruitful to spend a great deal of time studying and meditating on the Psalms.  This is especially true after studying about the life of David so intensely over the years.  Before David was on the throne, he spent numerous years fighting his enemies, running from them, stressed out over his situation, in trouble, in constant song and prayer, but all the while growing in His faithfulness to God.

Praying for our families, job situations, friends, our health, the health of others, and even our enemies can be a task if we desire to pray effectively.  This morning, a pattern became clear to me in my plight to pray effectively and purely before my God.  This is not true of every single time we are to pray, but I can imagine most dads, husbands, or men in general are much like me and are dealing with such a load on their shoulders that the simple opportunity to pray seems like one more piece of luggage upon their back.  The chore of prayer I speak of has nothing to do with our love for God, just our state of being…I still love my Lord more today than I ever have in my entire life and cherish what I am learning from Him.  If this is you, listen closer.

As David prayed throughout Psalms it started many times with a deep groaning, agony or a plea for God to hear his cry (prayer).  “O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God…” Have you ever sat down to pray really not knowing what to say, but just from the bottom of your gut this growl or hurtful groan came up?  This is the depth agony that I am speaking of here…that deep groan which was many times holding back tears and shaking as it came forth.  You and I may think we said absolutely nothing, but God heard it loud clear.  He understands exactly what we are going through.  He knows exactly what we said even though we do not know what we said.  Understand He put His only Son here on earth, to be watched over by a very young couple, in a world He knew would be hostile towards His Son, a couple that was not sure why this came about on them, and eventually this world or society would e so hostile it would kill Him.  So, do not think that God does not understand what we go through as a dad, because He really understands sacrificially. 

There has been numerous mornings that I have gotten out of bed at 5 am in the morning from a restless night of sleep as something was bothering me or (I hate to admit it but) something was worrying me.  As a dad of 10 children I can fill that weight of responsibility all too well jump on my back early every morning.  However, I have learned to take this load with me to the place I pray, meditate and study in God’s word each morning so that I can unload it there on my Lord.  He wants it, so I try to leave it with Him.  Guys, I am as human as anyone else and must admit that I am not 100% successful in leaving my sorrows, my load, my cares at the cross each day.  I find myself tying a string to it and dragging along with me although I was suppose to leave it with the Lord.  This is just a part of life that we must continually battle and fight through. 

As I continued to observe David’s prayer here in chapter 5 after he groaned and pleaded with God in his struggle David simply states  “Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly.”  This is exactly as we should do.  Once we have spilled our guts to God and unloaded that pile of junk that was clinging to our backs, we need to be confident in our God to go about our day knowing in the back of our minds that God will answer our prayers in His time.  What joy, peace and rest we can obtain if we can practice our faith this way. 

Other quick observances in Psalm 5 that are tremendous to me starts with the fact that God hates sin as it states “He cannot tolerate the slightest sin”.  So, we need to deal with that first and foremost each day.  Now, for those of us who are repentant of our sins daily we can trust in His unfailing love…always, trust Him to be our guide…always, trust He will show us which way to go…always, trust He is our refuge…always, trust He is our protector…always, trust that God is our shield…always, and trust that the Lord blesses the godly…always!

So, as you go about your day today remember you can trust in the “always” of God and those deep groanings you have had lately in your prayers or even as you are just going about your day really do speak volumes with God.  He is listening and God is looking in the hearts of men all over for those willing to groan before Him and then listen expectantly for His answer.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

 

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-From A Dad: Praying Dads Through Psalm 119-Week Two!

Posted by Scott on December 2, 2007

Here is week two of “Praying Dads Through Psalm 119!

-Day One-

Psalm 119:41-48

“O Lord, continue to pour out Your unfailing love as well as the salvation You have promised me.  I will then have a testimony for those who attempt to taunt me, because I trust in Your word.  Father, never take away Your word of truth from me, because my only hope is within Your scriptures.  I will continue to set the high goal of obeying Your commands forever and ever.  Upon Your merciful and gracious salvation i now walk in freedom and can nowbe devoted to Your word.  If You , O Lord, will permit I will speak to the people in high places about Your faithful instruction and will not be ashamed.  Almighty God, how I delight in Your commands as I find myself loving them as they keep me rooted in Your rich word.  Father, Your instructions i will love and honor and meditate all the days of my life.  AMEN!”
____________________

-Day Two-

Psalm 119:49-56

“Heavenly Father, remember the promises You made to me, this my only hope in this life.  Your promises are what keep me going each and every day.  They revive me so that I may accomplish Your great work.  Your promises comfort me in times of great trial.  Although the arrogant of this world look down upon me, I will not turn away from Your word of truth.  Lord, I will meditate on Your timeless truth for they comfort me.  The wicked of this world claim You are not real and do vile things in Your name which make me furious.  Lord, these have rejected Your holy word.  Dear Lord, my family and I have been on a pilgrimage for all these years and Your principles have been what has sustained us throughout.  Father, Your principles are like music to my ear.  As precious as the music of angels.  Father, at night I lie in my bed reflecting on who You are.  My desire to obey Your is ever increasing as my freedom in Christ becomes more and more real.  Obedience is the true joy maker as it is a blessing to You, Father, when Your children obey Your commands.  AMEN!”

____________________

-Day Three-

Psalm 119:57-64

“O Lord my God, as I set here in my distress I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that You, my Lord, are mine.  I say this with exuberance in my voice.  I want to obey Your word.  Father, with all my heart I want Your blessings.  As much as I want Your mercies and rescue I long for Your blessing on my life.  Please, be merciful on me and my family as You have promised.  This day, O Lord, I ponder and reflect back on the direction of my life.  I have had to turn many times from the way I was going in order to follow Your instructions.  From this day forward, I will hurry, without lingering, in order to obey You.  Many sinful people try to persuade me into disobedient schemes, but my feet are firmly anchored in Your word.  I wake up many nights to thank You for Your word.  People who respect You and obey Your laws are my friends as well.  Heavenly Father, everywhere I look is full of Your unfailing love, please, continue to teach me all of Your principles and decrees found in Your holy word.  AMEN!”

____________________

-Day Four-

Psalm 119:65-72

“My gracious Lord, You have done many good things for my family.  You have been so gracious to this servant just as You have promised for God always keeps His promises!  Father, I trust in Your commands totally.  They will only lead me closer to You, my Lord.  As You desire to increase my knowledge and good judgement, i will accept the training as hard as that can be at times.  In my former years I constantly went astray, lured out by the worlds wealth, fun, and ways.  I was like a calf untamed.  However, Lord, You touched me and disciplined me as a good father would.  Now, I desire to follow closely after Your word.  Father, You are so good and only good is found in You.  So, please, teach me Your ways.  Be my instructor so that I will gain Godly wisdom and knowledge.  Even though people around me that are so full of themselves may lie about me to others, it is Your truth I wish to obey with my whole heart.  Lord, Your precepts are richer than all the money in the world.  These arrogant people  puffed up by their own prosperity are so vain concerning their worth, but Lord, my delight is in You.  O merciful Father, the suffering I have experienced so far in life, sent by You, has been good for me.  The suffering has taught me to pay close attention to Your word and Your precepts.  It has proved to show me where my true priorities should be.  My enemies will always be around in this life, but my focus must remain on You, my sovereign God.  Lord, Your word is far more valuable to me than the finest gold and purest silver in the world and all of its worth.  AMEN!”

____________________

-Day Five-

Psalm 119:73-80

“Father, You are the One who created me and made me.  Please, dear Lord, give me the good sense to follow after Your commands and direction.  Lord, I pray that anyone who has a fond respect for You will find great joy in my testimony that You are faithful.  All of my hope in this life is in Your word.  Merciful Father, Your decisions are more than fair and I know this.  All the discipline I have received so far is because I needed it in order to stay on the right trail.  O my loving Savior, now I need Your unfailing love to comfort me this day.  I have many battles to fight and I cannot win them without You at the head of my life.  This is in accordance with Your promise to me, Lord.  Surround me this morning with fresh new mercies that will carry me all day so I may go on living without Your mercy I feel dead.  Your principles and precepts are the delight of my life.  Heavenly Father, bring disgrace on those arrogant souls who may lie about me and set their lives about ruining me.  Even so, I will attempt with all earnestness and strength to concentrate on Your holy word.  Help me to be rejoined with all who fear You and know Your word.  May I be found blameless in Your eyes in the keeping of Your principles made possible by accepting Your call to accept Jesus Christ into my life as my Savior and Lord some thirty years ago.  If so, I will never have to be ashamed.  Lord, there is o true fear of You without the true knowledge found in Your holy word.  AMEN!”

____________________

May the Lord bless each reader in direct proportion to the time they spend in God’s holy word. 

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-From A Dad: Devotional For Dads/Psalm 119:1-8 One

Posted by Scott on November 29, 2007

All of us dads have times in our lives when we feel like we are being chased and persecuted by our enemies.  It does not matter how spiritual we seem to be or our devotion to God…the enemy will attack without notice.  Sometimes it depresses us, causes us ulcers, gives us a headache that seems to never go away, drives us to anger, and at other times it creates in our minds a sense of helplessness.  Psalm 119 has been instrumental through my trials and tribulations as I long to experience the fullness of God Himself and deal with each issue that thrust its way into my life.  In my in-depth look into the heart and mind of God I have found a place of solitude that surpasses anything I have experienced in my life.  In the midst of praying through Psalm 119 a divine devotion has grown from the fertile ground that God placed His word in….my heart!

I will share with you on a daily basis the verses and devotion that God so poetically engraved into the soul of my being.  I encourage you to glean from the passages and testimony the encouragement, instructions, promises, and restful peace that is found there.

-Day One-

Psalm 119:1-8 (1599 Geneva Bible Translation):

Blessed are those that are upright in their way, and walk in the Law of the Lord.” 

-Those are blessed that keep their conversation and ways without hypocrisy.  They are not blessed who think themselves wise by their own judgement with no regard for God’s wisdom.  Nor is this blessedness for those that think themselves with a certain kind of high holiness.

“Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and seek Him with their whole heart.”

“Surely they work none iniquity, but walk in His ways.”

-These are under God’s rule and embrace no other doctrine but His.

“Thou hast commanded to keep thy precepts diligently.”

“Oh that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!”

-Here David is acknowledging his imperction, but he desires that God reforms his life and conforms it to God’s word.

“Then should I not be confounded, when I have respect unto all my commandments.”

“I will praise thee with an upright heart, when I shall learn the judgements of thy righteousness.”

-True religion stands in serving God without hypocrisy.  In God’s precepts is His perfect righteousness.

“I will keep thy statutes, forsake me not overlong.”

-David refuses to be tried by these temptations, however, he fears that he may faint if God does not aid him in his troubles in time.

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Integrity is a hard characteristic to develop, but our joy is found in the law and instruction of the Lord.  This integrity will be challenged on a daily basis by our enemies.  As we are obedient to His commands and search diligently for Him with our whole heart we will discover Him in ways we never could have imagined.  Sometimes in prayer I find myself groaning from the depths of myself that I did not know existed.  This groaning comes during times of great distress and even in times of deep depression.  The Holy Spirit takes those groanings to the very throne of our merciful Majesty in heaven and turns it into words that God will understand and has been waiting to hear.  Psalm 34:18-19 (NLT) says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, He rescues those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one.” When we are at our lowest point and groanings begin to growl out of our mouths from our hearts that are broken, God is there to rescue us and pick up the pieces of our lives that have been left shattered in the wake of the storm.  The Lord tells us that we will encounter many troubles…it does not give us an option in that.  However, He will rescue us from each and every trouble…guaranteed!  It will be according to His graciousness and richness, but whatever way God chooses to rescue us will be the best way and we can all rest assuredly in that.

As a father of 10 children I find that I must stay the course and not compromise with evil doers or compromise my integrity for anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect by any means and fail daily, but the goal is to stay on course and correct known mistakes immediately.  No amount of money, wealth, or instant gratification is worth lowering my standards for.  Praise Him always and rejoice in the Lord.  We will not be disgraced no matter what people may try to do to us as long as we keep His commandments and word.  It has been my goal daily to consistently be a reflection of principles of my heavenly Father.  So, as always I ask the Lord not to give up on me even though I may fail from time to time.  I cry out daily for new mercies, so I can make it through another day.  I am guaranteed that He keeps His promises always.  Jesus has told those of us that are weary and heavy hearted to place all our cares upon Him and take His rest.  So, rest in the peace that God will give and believe that He will see you through.  We will never know the depths to which God may draw His peace, rest, encouragement, rescue, wealth, healing, and more from…He has already charted a trail for us to follow in His word and I intend to do my best within the power of the Holy Spirit to stay on that trail…bumps, cliffs, trees, tall weeds, beast, and all.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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