Do We Please the Lord?

How can I please the Lord?

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT

If you love me, obey my commandments.… You are my friends if you obey me.

John 14:15; 15:14 NLT

True Friends of Jesus Obey Him

How do we demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, we do what he says. If we refuse, we have no right to call ourselves his friends.

In 1 Samuel 15 the Bible tells how King Saul disobeyed the Lord’s command to completely destroy the enemies and their livestock. When Samuel asked the king why he heard the bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle, Saul basically replied, “Oh, right, thanks for reminding me. We’re saving those to offer to the Lord later!”

Samuel recognized a lie when he heard one and replied, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV). God wants the same from us, not some great annual recommitment that we soon break. He wants consistency. Regularity. Faithfulness. He wants our obedience.

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie,
(Tyndale House) p 162

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Do We Hurry God?

How often do you ask God to hurry?

The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of man. Rather, the Lord’s delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:10-11

“O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.”

Psalm 141:1-2 NLT

The Second Thanksgiving

The year was 1623. The Pilgrims had been in the New World for two and half years. The first Thanksgiving of 1621 was only a memory by this time because this summer’s drought was jeopardizing everything. Not even the Indians could remember anything like it. The settlers had planted more corn than before, but without any rainfall, there would be no harvest. Daily they had prayed that God would send rain, but he hadn’t answered. As the psalmist did in Psalm 141:1, they were begging God to hurry.

Finally, the settlers set aside an entire day for prayer and worship. As they went for worship, the “heavens were as clear and the drought as like to continue as it ever was,” yet when they left the meeting, “the weather was overcast, the clouds gathered on all sides.” For the next 14 days there were “moderate showers of rain,” according to Edward Winslow, one of the Pilgrims.

The Indians watched and were amazed at how the God of the new settlers had answered their prayers, and that year, after the harvest, a second Thanksgiving was celebrated with the Indians joining in as well.

“Hurry up, Lord,” we often prod, wondering why the Almighty doesn’t seem to be in as much of a rush as we are. Sometimes we need to set our watches to his clock.

From The One Year® Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for November 22

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Rewards on Earth or Eternal?

Are you looking for rewards on earth?

“…we who are still alive and remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NLT

Awaiting our day

The story is told of an old missionary couple returning to the States after many years of thankless service in Africa. They happened to be on the same ship to New York as President Theodore Roosevelt, who was returning from a big game hunt in Africa. As the ship pulled past the Statue of Liberty and into the dock, huge crowds were gathered to welcome him home. The press was out in full force, and thousands of people had come to get a glimpse of the president.

In the middle of the chaos, the aged missionary couple fought their way through the crowds with their large suitcases in tow. Silently they hailed a cab and made their way to a cheap hotel. The missionary sat on the bed and said to his wife, “It just doesn’t seem right. We gave our lives to Christ to win souls for the Kingdom in Africa, and when we arrive home there is no one here to meet us. The president shoots a few animals and receives a royal welcome.”

His wife sat beside him on the bed and said softly, “That’s because we’re not home yet, dear.”

It may seem at times as if our work for Christ is going unnoticed. Faith doesn’t bring a lot of praise on this earth. But that’s only because our trip is not yet over.

Our day will come, you can be sure. And when it does, the ceremony will last for an eternity.

From Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins and Frank M. Martin (Tyndale) p 346

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Integrity

God has great rewards for those who remain faithul

Do you ever feel it doesn’t pay to live a godly life?

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

“Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive a reward that lasts forever.”
Psalm 37:18 NLT

God will honor your integrity

Maybe last month it was a relational disaster or an occupational trial. This week it might be a financial setback. Next week could bring a health crisis. After a while the unrelenting stream of tough times takes its toll.

“What’s the use?” we cry. “I try to do right and for what? Life keeps beating me up! I can’t get ahead! I’m not sure it pays to try to live a godly life. I struggle as much or more than my neighbors who couldn’t care less about God!”

Troubles certainly have a way of wearing us down. And if we’re not careful, they can erode even our bedrock convictions. The promise in Psalm 37 is a good reminder of why we must be vigilant about not taking moral or ethical shortcuts.

Those who maintain their integrity, those who continue to do right even when everything and everyone else is wrong will one day receive the ultimate reward.

Praying God’s Promise:
Life doesn’t seem fair at times, Lord, and integrity often doesn’t seem to matter. But it does matter. You see everything. Nothing escapes your gaze. You promise to care for the pure and to reward the faithful. Give me the spiritual tenacity to hang in there. Remind me that the day is coming when you will exalt those who steadfastly trust in you.

From the Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Wood (Tyndale) pp 204-5
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

NO MORE SORROW

God will wipe away sorrow forever

JESUS SOON COMING

 

Faith does not isolate us from sadness

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5

I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27 
Truly, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy when you see me again. It will be like a woman experiencing the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives place to joy because she has brought a new person into the world. You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.
John 16:20-22 

Bond of understanding

There is an immediate bond of understanding between people who have suffered similar hardships or losses. Parents who have lost children, widows and widowers, and families of terminal-disease patients, all find comfort and encouragement in the presence of those who have known similar pain.

Paul urges believers to see opportunities for giving comfort as both a way to share the comfort of God and to use their own experiences of sorrow for good. We rarely know why suffering or trials enter our lives, but we can know that God wants to do through our sorrow.

Who do you know right now who needs a word of encouragement or comfort that your experience has prepared you to give?

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


 

GLOBAL EVENTS = PROPHECY UPDATE 2017


REV 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

A PILGRIM’S JOURNEY

No temptation is too great

How can you avoid the guilt experiences by John Bunyan?

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me.

Psalm 19:12-13 

Now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy.

Jude 1:24 

A Pilgrim making progress

John Bunyan, who wrote the class The Pilgrim’s Progress, (CLICK LINK TO WATCH MOVIE: PILGRIM’S PROGRESS JOURNEY)had been a godless youth with a “great desire to take fill of sin, still studying what sin was yet to be committed, that might taste the sweetness of it.” However, while still in his twenties, Bunyan was convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sinfulness and his need for a Redeemer.

After this Bunyan’s conscience became so tender that he feared he was committing sins that would not be forgiven. Bunyan spent time studying Scripture, at times finding comfort and at other times being weighed down by guilt.

Looking back on those turbulent days in his life, Bunyan recognized he had made some big mistakes. Although he had prayed for cleansing, he had not prayed to be kept from future sin. In addition, he was not standing firmly on the rock of his salvation, even though he had asked Christ to be his Redeemer (see Psalm 19:12-14).

Perhaps you have trusted Christ to save you, but you still experience spiritual defeat. This is not unusual, but you do need to address the problem. Each new day ask God to help you follow him more closely. But do not be afraid, for, as Bunyan later wrote, our “righteousness is Jesus Christ himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

adapted from The One Year® Book of Psalms by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen,, Tyndale House Publishers (1999), entry for February 6

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House