The Word of God

Just a little something I found while studying. I enjoyed it and thought you might as well.

THIS BOOK contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s character.

Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand object, our good is its design and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.

It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgment and will be remembered forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”

— Anonymous (found on the flyleaf of an old Bible)

SOAPing the New Testament – James 1:17

[17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)

My brother, Tony, posted “Is God Responsible for my Temptations and Sins?” earlier today. He used James 1:13-15 as the basis for his post. Check it out. I would like to add my own post on verse 17.

James moves from talking about temptations (that God never gives) to telling us what God does give. Every good and every perfect gift. He reminds us of God’s goodness. When we are faced with trials, they are not to tempt us to sin, but rather they are to strengthen us and make us more Christ like. God does not produce evil because His nature is good. Every gift that God gives to us is good–it is sufficient, it lacks nothing, it is beneficial and complete.

The second portion of this verse states that these gifts come “down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James chose the phrase “Father of lights” because it was a Jewish phrase which referred to God the Creator of the heavenly “lights”. What I like is the part that says, “with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” God never changes. He doesn’t shift. God’s mercy never ceases and nothing can stop His goodness.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your good and perfect gifts. Thank you for your unchanging character. Thank you for the trials that you send to strengthen my faith. Help me to be more like You. Amen.

This verse brought this 18th century hymn by Robert Robinson to mind, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. I pray the words will bless you.

1. Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

God is in Charge of His Creation

“…then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7 ESV)

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 ESV)

I’ve had a lot of things going on in my life in the last 6 months. Some that have been out of my control. That is a hard thing for me. I was born on the 4th of July and my mom always said God did that as a joke. She claims some of my first words were, “I’ll do it myself!” While I’m sure that’s not quite accurate, her point has always been that I’m very independent. So when things are not exactly the way I believe they should be, my inclination is to fix it. “I’ll do it myself!”

While studying for children’s church a few Sundays ago, God really spoke to me about Him being in charge of everything. Starting with His creation – Me! When I really think about God’s creation, I’m so amazed! Day one…let there be light…and there it was. Day two…separated the sky from the waters…it just happened. Day three…separate the water from the dry land…let the earth bring forth vegetation of all kinds…and it was. Day four…sun, moon, stars…there they are. Day five…birds, fish…it was done. Day six…land animals…there they are…but day six wasn’t done.

This is where it gets real good. This is where God slowed down and took His time. The Bible very specifically says that God formed man from the dust of the ground. He MADE man. He didn’t just speak, He took His time. He made man with His very own hands. He made man different – special – unique! And then, He breathed life into man. He breathed physical and spiritual life into man.

God is in charge! He knows the things that I think I need to control. He knows my worries and concerns. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses. He knows everything little thing about me. He created me. No one knows the creation better than the Creator. God is in charge of His creation. God is in charge of every detail of my life. I can rest in that.

Earlier today my brother, Tony, posted “Proclaim Jesus”. That’s what I want to do. In every circumstance, I want to proclaim Jesus. I want to remember that even though I want to “do it myself”, there’s no need. God already has it under control. He’s in charge!

Heavenly Father, thank you for all Your creation. Thank you for creating me. Thank you for the opportunity to proclaim you in every circumstance. Help me to rest in the fact that YOU are in charge and I don’t have to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

SOAP Journal Entry – Lamentations 3:22-23

S – [22] The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; [23] they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

O – When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness one of the important lessons they had to learn was God’s provision of manna was on a morning by morning basis. They couldn’t live on old manna, nor could they store up for the future.

A – By the same token, I can not live on old blessings or hope to store up God’s blessings for future use. God doesn’t want me to live in the past or the future. He wants me to live in the now! The present. Each day presents a new opportunity for me to be blessed and to bless others. It reminds me of a clean slate. I may have messed up yesterday, but I don’t have to live there. I can arise and know that God’s love and compassion and mercy are never ending. It’s a new morning!

P – Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your faithfulness. Thank you that no matter what happens you pour out your love, compassion, faithfulness and blessings – every day! You never come to an end. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Great Is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all that I needed Thy hand hath provided-Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

SOAP Journal Entry – Psalm 17:8

S – Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, (Psalm 17:8 ESV)

O – This Psalm is a prayer of David’s. Apparently his enemies were surrounding him and he was requesting safety from God. Here in verse 8 we see two very tender analogies. One being the apple of the eye. This indicates one that is very precious or dear to another. The second analogy is being hidden under the shadow of God’s wings. This is my favorite. The story comes to mind of the mother hen who protected her chicks from the fire. The barn was engulfed in flames and the mother hen died, but her chicks were safe under her wings.

A – Our lives are filled with unexpected dangers. We never know what is coming with each day. There are daily attacks on our soul. But we can have the surety that God is absolutely in control and personally involved in every area of our life. We just have to accept Him and remain close wherever He leads. He will gather us under His wings if we will only accept the offer.

P – Heavenly Father, thank you for keeping me safe. When the storms of life gather round, I know there is refuge under Your wings. Thank you for caring about the details in my life. Help me to let you remain in control. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

SOAP Journal Entry – Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

I have no real SOAP tonight. Just something straight from down deep in my heart.

Philippians 4:13 is without question my favorite verse in the Bible. Since I’ve been a small child, my daddy has always told me there is nothing I can’t do if I have Christ by my side. He did a wonderful job teaching me that as long as I am walking hand in hand with the Lord, I can do anything through Him.

Being able to simply trust God in difficult circumstances and say, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” is where I want to be. God will never take me into anything that He won’t give me the strength to endure and overcome.

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me strength. Thank you for always being there to help me endure and overcome. Thank you that even when I feel helpless You remind me that I can do all things through You. Thank you for this valley that I seem to be in at the moment. I know that You are here with me, and will give me all the strength necessary to continue. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

SOAP Journal Entry – Genesis 45:8

S – So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
(Genesis 45:8 ESV)

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
(Genesis 50:20 ESV)

O – Here is Joseph, a young man sold into slavery by his brothers. While in this slavery, he was put into a high position in Pharaoh’s house, lied about, put into prison, put into a high position within the prison, interpreted the butler and the baker’s dreams, forgotten about for 2 years, finally remembered when Pharaoh needed a dream interpreted, and then placed into a position described as “lord of all his (Pharaoh’s) house”. Wow! What a roller coaster ride! How would you react? I am amazed at Joseph’s answer for all of this when he finally sees his brothers that had originally wronged him. In Genesis 45:8, he says, “it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Then in Genesis 50:20, he says, “…you meant it for evil against me, but God meant it for good,…” What a lesson we can learn!

A – So what’s the application in my life? It’s pretty simple. God can use everything in my life to glorify Him. Sometimes things happen and I have no idea why…they are for His glory. Sometimes bad things happen and I have no idea why…they are for His glory. Sometimes good things happen…we don’t usually question these…but they are for His glory. Praise His Name!

P – Heavenly Father, thank you for revealing your power in every area of my life. Thank you for the gentle reminder that the things happening in my life that I don’t understand are so You will ultimately be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen.