January 31, 2010

Today’s reading: Psalm 119; Proverbs 31

Psalm 119:114, “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.”

I remember as a young boy I had a bb gun. Like most boys I shot it a lot. I kept a good supply of bb’s so that I would not run out. I have to say that I often got into a lot of trouble with my bb gun.

One time I shot a neighbor boy in the ankle with my bb gun. This got it taken away for an entire year. That was an eternity for a young boy. I did not shoot anyone else with it. I did kill a snake with it once. I remember many trips into the woods feeling like a real hunter. I don’t know what I would have done if a wild animal had really showed up and challenged me. I am sure the outcome would not have been good.

I remember one time me and some other boys had a bb gun fight in the hay loft of the barn. We would literally shoot at each other. This is not smart. We built forts out of the straw that was stacked up there for protection. One boy got the bright idea to shoot at the roof and let the bb bounce off the metal roof and fall down into the straw fortress. It worked. I got hit in the wrist with a bb that turned my wrist an interesting shade of blue.

You may be asking, “What is your point?” Well we who know Christ as our Saviour have a more sure place to run for refuge than a straw fort. We can run to Jesus Christ, who is our Refuge.

No matter what you are going through you can run to the Lord. He is waiting for you.

January 30, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 38, 39, 40; Psalm 30, 60, 90, 120; Proverbs 30

Exodus 39:7, “And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, that they should be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Exodus 39:14, “And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, every one with his name, according to the twelve tribes.”

I remember a couple years ago we went on a journey of about half an hour. We went to a nearby town for a memorial service. My aunt’s husband had passed away and he was cremated and then they had a memorial service for him.

I remember seeing the pretty flowers. I remember seeing family that I had not seen in many years. Why is it that funerals quickly become family reunions? That is another day’s topic.

I remember seeing his guitar sitting there. Unfortunately, I did not know him very well; but, we did share a love for music. I would imagine that our taste in music differed; but, we both loved music. It is good for the soul and lifts the spirit.

Now, as we travel to and through that particular town I think of that memorial service. Unfortunately, I did not agree with much the one who officiated the service had to say so I kept my big mouth shut for the most part (miracle of all miracles).

What are the memorials in your life, friend? Maybe we need to make some.

January 29, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 35, 36, 37; Psalm 29, 59, 89, 149; Proverbs 29

Psalm 59:9, “Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.”

Today is a sad day in Indiana politics. Congressman Steve Buyer announced that he will not seek re-election at the end of his term. He as served his constituents well for the past 18 years. I know, I am very grateful to him for his service.

Congressman Buyer held a news conference at IU Hospital in Indianapolis, IN and made the announcement. He has made this decision so that he can stand by his wife who now suffers with an “incurable autoimmune disease”. The Congressman wept as he made the announcement each time he mentioned his wife or her medical condition.

I do not know if the Congressman is a Christian; but, I do know that he is a soldier in the National Guard and as Congressman he has fought for the family and right. It is my plan to send him an e-mail and let him know that I have prayed for he and his wife. I would urge you to do the same. Right now this family needs prayer support and God as their defense.

It is my prayer that one day the Buyer family will be able to say the words of Psalm 59:16, “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.”

Who is your defense? Are you sure about that?

January 28, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 32, 33, 34; Psalm 28, 58, 88, 118, 148; Proverbs 28

Exodus 33:14-15, “And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”

Exodus 33:22, “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:”

So many people today do not believe that God is a real person. Some believe that persons are God and this is a lie from the pits of hell. There are some people that I have a high amount of respect for in this world but I know that they are not God. They are just men, like me.

I have had the opportunity to rub shoulders, so to speak, with some of the greatest men in our day. I will not take time to name them. There was something about being in their presence. Their spirit was different than what you experience in this world.

One man I will mention is Dr. William Forester. He was the most humble man I have ever met. When you were in his presence you knew that he was a man of God. He was a true joy to be around. He now resides in heaven with Jesus, whom he served for many years.

When you like to be around someone it could be for various reasons. What about God? Do you like to be in the presence of God? Right off the bat people will say yes, I do. I am afraid that if we did an evaluation of our lives we might see differently. When you read the Scriptures do you invite Him to speak to you? When you pray do you beg Him to speak to you? As you go about your daily life do you ask Him to control you? Ouch!

In who’s presence are you spending time?

January 27, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 29, 30, 31; Psalm 27, 57, 87, 117, 147; Proverbs 27

Proverbs 27:20, “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

Here is a subject that not many people like to talk about and for sure a lot of Preachers do not address it from America’s pulpits. The subject of hell will bring about all kinds of conversations. You will have those who do not believe in a literal place called hell. There are those who think that hell is here on earth now. Things are bad; but, they are not nearly that bad. Then you have those who have a biblical view of hell.

One thing we know is that hell never fills up. Even though millions of people go there year after year it is never full. That boggles my mind. It is a place that is ever expanding and accepting occupants. This is so sad because people do not have to go to hell. Jesus paid the price and all you have to do is trust Him as your Saviour and you can avoid hell.

We need to be trying to persuade our family, friends and neighbors to trust Jesus and keep from going to hell. Look at the admonition of Proverbs 27:23, “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.”

So, what are you doing to keep others from going to hell?

January 26, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 26, 27, 28; Psalm 26, 56, 86, 116, 146; Proverbs 26

Exodus 27:20, “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.”

As I was reading our text for today I was reminded of my younger days. This goes back to childhood. I remember growing up in Church and singing with the children every Sunday morning. Many of the songs still ring in my heart today oh so many years later.

The one song that jumped into my mind at this reading goes like this: “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning. Give me oil in my lamp I pray. Hallelujah!” I can hear the children singing it like I was sitting there on the front row right now. Precious memories!

Oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit. so if we want to keep our spiritual lamp burning bright we need to be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. This scares a lot of us and it should not. Being filled with the Spirit is a command of the Bible (Ephesians 5:18)

This being filled with the Spirit is simply being controlled by the Spirit. We need to yield ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever felt an urge from within to witness to someone? That is the leading of the Holy Spirit and it is up to us to respond accordingly.

So, what are you full of? I hope it is the precious Holy Spirit.

January 25, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 23, 24, 25; Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115, 145; Proverbs 25

Exodus 25:40, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.”

I noticed yesterday at Church that my wife was taking notes. This is not unusual. What was funny was when our son put his hand on her notepad while she was taking notes. It is hard to write this way. He loves to put his hand down on a piece of paper and have you trace around his hand. We have many of these pieces of paper. Each one has the date written on it so we know when it was done.

It has been interesting to see the progression of his hand over the years. They grow larger and larger each year. Sometimes he does not like to leave his hand in place long enough for you to finish tracing it. This makes for a deformed likeness of his hand.

In your life and mine what are we using for a pattern? There are so many things and people in life that we can pattern our lives after. The problem is that most of them are not worth using as a pattern. In our text today God is reminding Moses to make the tabernacle after the pattern He had given to them.

The Word of God should be our pattern book so to speak. It has everything in it we need to live a life that is pleasing to God. Have you checked it lately? I hope so. What pattern are you using?

January 24, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 20, 21, 22; Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114, 144; Proverbs 24

Psalm 84:2, “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”

Today is Sunday. This is what we call “The Lord’s Day”. I really think that every day should be considered “The Lord’s Day”.

Many people will get up this morning and go to Church as they should. We will be visiting a Church that has asked my wife to come and play the piano and sing. They do not ask me. Such is life.

What is your attitude about Church? So many people just go through the motions, it seems like. This is sad. Our attitude about Church should be like the attitude of the Psalmist in our verse today.

He had a strong desire to go to the temple. When was the last time you and I really had a deep desire to go to Church? We need to be careful that we do not just go to Church because it is the right thing to do. I would say go no matter how you “feel” and eventually your heart will follow your actions.

See you at the House!

January 23, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 17, 18, 19; Psalm 23, 53, 83, 113, 143; Proverbs 23

Exodus 17:12-13, “But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”

Our text today is one of my favorite Old Testament passages. As the Israelites fought Amalek they would prevail as long as Moses’ hands were up. This makes me think of prayer. We are told to “lift up holy hands” in I Timothy 2:8. We know that Amalek is a picture of the flesh. Moses’ actions of lifting up his hands could represent prayer. What an awesome picture!

If we are going to have victory in our lives then we need to be people of prayer. I don’t mean we offer a “Now I lay me down to sleep…” kind of prayer either. We need to put our all into prayer. So many people just flippantly pray and then don’t get what they pray for. We must pray in faith, believing that God is able and will do for us what we ask Him so long as it is in His will for our lives.

I like the picture of Aaron and Hur also standing with Moses. We need others to pray for us also. We need others to pray with us for the needs that we have. I know that I would be a lot worse off if it were not for the prayers of God’s people on my behalf and for my family also.

So how is your prayer life? Are you Aaron or Hur to someone? I hope so.

January 22, 2010

Today’s reading: Exodus 14, 15, 16; Psalm 22, 52, 82, 112, 142; Proverbs 22

Exodus 14:13-15, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”

I remember growing up, the first time I was left at home alone. It was an exciting time for me. In my mind I was growing up. We lived in an apartment on the far west side of Indianapolis.

Fear is an amazing thing. It can paralyze even the biggest of men. I know because that night as I stayed alone for the first time I was crippled by fear. I stood in the same spot the entire time. My footprints were so smashed into the carpet that I think it took some time of redirecting the fibers to get them straightened back up.

Unlike the children of Israel, I did not have a commandment to “stand still” but I did. I stood there and rocked back and forth from the left to the right and from the right to the left.

So, what are you afraid of? I know in our lives we are facing some “giants”. We feel like the Egyptians are closing in on us just like the Israelites of our passage. We know that God will work this out for His glory and our good whether we “feel” like it or not. We do not need to fear because God who is the same yesterday, today and forever will deliver us just like he did His children in our passage.

Your King James version Bible tells you 62 times “fear not”. So friend, what has you paralyzed with fear?