GOD IS THE MASTER BUILDER

God blesses humble people

GLORY OF MY LORD

GLORY OF MY LORD

God as house-builder

“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”

Psalm 127:1 NLT

Unless the Lord builds the house

Benjamin Franklin is best known for his inventions (lightning rod) and his aphorisms (“early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”). But he was also a key figure when the thirteen colonies were giving birth to a new nation.
At the age of 81, Franklin was the oldest representative at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Weeks after the convention began, representatives were still haggling about the relative voting power of large states and small states. Then Franklin stood up and said,

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.…Have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men.…We have been assured, sir, that ‘except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it,’ and without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”

The verse from Psalm 127 had its effect. A compromise was soon worked out, and a Constitution ratified by the states the following year.
Adapted from The One Year® Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for October 27

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

JUNE 9, 2013

 God‘s timing is perfect

Enduring love

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1 NLT

 

The unforgettable responsive reading

 

It was midnight on Thursday, February 8, A.D. 356, and Athanasius, a leader in the early Christian church and passionate defender of the deity of Jesus Christ, was leading a worship service. Suddenly loud shouts and clashing armor could be heard outside the church. Soldiers had come to arrest him.

But Athanasius said, “I didn’t think it right, at such a time, to leave my people,” so he continued the service. He asked a deacon to read Psalm 136 and then requested the congregation to respond with the refrain, “His faithful love endures forever,” which they did twenty-six times over the din of the soldiers outside.

Just as the final verse was completed, the soldiers rushed into the church, brandishing their swords and spears and crowding forward up the nave toward Anthanasius. The people yelled for Athanasius to run, but he refused to go until he had given a benediction. Then some of his assistants gathered tightly around him, and, as he recounts it, “I passed through the crowd of people unseen and escaped, giving thanks to God that I had not betrayed my people, but had seen to their safety before I thought of my own.”

Athanasius was portraying to his people God’s love, which endures forever. He was willing to lay down his life for his flock — just as Jesus had laid down his life for his flock a few centuries earlier.

Since God’s “faithful love endures forever,” why is there ever any need to worry?

adapted from The One Year® Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for November 8

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

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 God‘s timing is perfect

Never disappointed

Every day I call to you, my God, but, you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy. The praises of Israel surround your throne. Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them. You heard their cries for help and saved them. They put their trust in you and were never disappointed.

Psalm 22:2-5 NLT

The fugitive translator

 

William Tyndale was born about 1494 and educated first at Oxford, where he was ordained into the priesthood, then at Cambridge, where he joined the Reformation. He became convinced that England would never be evangelized using Latin Bibles. Tyndale’s efforts to get permission to translate the Bible into English were unsuccessful, so he left England.

His first English New Testament was printed in Germany in 1525. As Tyndale’s English Bibles were smuggled into England, the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London began attacking him fiercely. On June 18, 1528 Thomas Wolsey, the English cardinal, ordered Tyndale’s arrest and extradition to England. It took seven years to track him down, then spent eighteen months in a cold castle dungeon.

Tyndale, in his early forties, was found guilty and condemned to death as a heretic. Referring to the king’s opposition to his English Bible, Tyndale said, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.”

The year that Tyndale died, there were two English Bibles containing his translation of the New Testament. When presented to Henry VIII, the king, not realizing it contained Tyndale’s work, proclaimed, “In God’s name let it go abroad among the people.”

Tyndale’s Bible translations were his lasting legacy. They were so well done that they made up 90 percent of the wording of the King James Version published nearly one hundred years later.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), entry for June 18.

 

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

 

LORD HELP MY THOUGHTS TO BE PURE!

Greater Than Our Dreams

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 NLT

I have found that the most extravagant dreams of boyhood have not surpassed the great experience of being in the will of God, and I believe that nothing could be better.

Jim Elliot 

No locked closets

 

What does it mean to be a person after God’s own heart? Seems to me, it means that your life is in harmony with the Lord. What is important to him is important to you. What burdens him burdens you. When he says, “This is wrong, and I want you to change,” you come to terms with it because you have a heart for God.

When you are deeply spiritual, you have a heart that is sensitive to the things of God. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose heart is completely his” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

God is looking for men and women whose hearts are completely his. They have no locked closets. Nothing’s been swept under the rugs. When you do wrong, you admit it and come to terms with it.…You long to please him in your actions.

Charles R. Swindoll in David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

It’s no wonder that David moved from awe at God’s work to praising God himself (Psalm 19:7-14). He saw that a God who could create such beauty throughout the universe is a God who wants to create beauty in our own lives as well. But he can only create that beauty when we yield our hearts and souls completely to him. As we discover more and more about who God is and how much he loves us, obedience to him becomes less of a chore and more of a pleasure.

Adapted from Men of Integrity Devotional Bible with devotions from the editors of Men of Integrity, a publication of Christianity Today International (Tyndale, 2002), entry for May 6.

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