Against You Only

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”  Psalm 51:1-5  (KJB)

Delight In The LORD

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.  And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”  Psalm 37:1-6 (KJB)

My Rock, My Strength, My Shield

“Unto Thee will I cry, O LORD my Rock; be not silent to me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto Thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in their hearts.
Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up.
Blessed be the LORD, because He hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed.
Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.” Psalm 28:1-9 (KJB)

Sin, The Law, and Grace

“What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:15 (KJB)

There were some in Paul’s day who were accusing him of teaching that if one is saved by grace alone then one can live how ever they please; and the apostle is correcting this mistaken gross idea.

Sadly it is a notion of many of today’s professing “Christians” that “I can go ahead and do this thing, I can live with this girl or this guy without marriage to see if it works out or not; I can divorce my wife or husband, and marry this other one; and God will forgive me”.  Put what ever element of sin into the equation you choose, and it has probably been thought, and acted upon.

If a man or woman who professes Christ can do such a thing, then live with the enjoyment of their act, they will not enjoy God. There, in fact, cannot be forgiveness.

Verse 14 of this chapter of Romans says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you”.

The truly redeemed, born again child of God; the true Christian hates their sin, seeks every opportunity to put away sin, stay away from the sin that tempts them, does not seek it out. Neither can the Christian enjoy living in sin, letting sin have dominion over them.

If you call yourself a Christian, and can enjoy sinful acts, thoughts, and living, and you are not disciplined by the Lord, then, you are not His (Hebrews 12:7-8)

Let our prayer today be that of the Psalmist…

“Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133

Grace is not a license, and approval, from God or freedom from God to sin. It is, in fact, the freedom from sin, and the power to take authority over sin.

The Judgment of The LORD

“The just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His judgment to light, He faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.” Zephaniah 3:5 (KJB)

The LORD is always good. There is never a time when He is not.  If He were not also Holy, Just, Righteous, and Jealous He would not be good.

The people in the day of Zephaniah’s prophecy were feeling quite positive of God’s presence with them. Judah, Jerusalem was counting on the fact that God would not leave them, neither forsake them; and the prophet assures them that He is indeed in the midst of them.

The LORD in their midst did not excuse their iniquity, their sin, their rebellion against the LORD. It would rather magnify their grievous sin – at least it should have. It magnified iniquity for the prophet of God; and God used him to warn His people.

For the people of God in 2019, those who call themselves “Christian” this word is for you today.  God truly is in our midst; He will not do iniquity, and He does not rejoice in it.  While the judgment of sin has been paid for by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, He was buried, and He rose again; does not give you a license to sin; neither is it an excuse for sin.

It is a license to freely live for God, confessing our sin when we commit the grievous act of sin and iniquity against God (1 John 1:9).

God will judge those who refuse to accept the gift of grace through the cross of Jesus Christ.  We must never forget as a Christian, that judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).

O that the Christian today; from the pulpit to the pew, the preacher to the man or woman who professes Jesus Christ as Savior of their lives to fall on their faces before God confessing, and repenting of their sins. Also crying out to see their sin as God does.  That would be the beginning of a great awakening in the Body of Christ.

Not Forsaken

“For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of Hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; He will render unto her a recompence.” Jeremiah 51:5-6 (KJB)

Though the land, the people of Israel and Judah had sinned greatly against the LORD of Hosts His grace is sufficient to bring them back. More than sufficient to judge those who had treated them so viciously and vilely.

The LORD calls for them, during the time of His visitation upon Babylon to flee. “Come out of her My people” (Revelation 18:4).

Christian of 2019 and beyond; God does not forsake His people.  The reason for the captivity of Judah and Israel is due to their forsaking God.  Christian let us never think that God who is Holy, Righteous, and Just will overlook our sin. NO! He will still hold us accountable for our forsaking Him.

We can rest assured by the cross and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection that our sins are forgiven, yet there is discipline, chastisement for sin.  If you are without the chastisement of the Lord, you are not His.

Rest and grow in His grace.

Delight in the LORD

It has been several days since I wrote a post for this site.  I want to express my appreciation to those who have showed interest in these writings, thoughts, and the word of God.  Thank you, and God bless you richly with all heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus.

I will be doing thoughts on the Psalms, taking up where I left off the last time in Psalms which was at Psalm 36..

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”  Psalm 37:1-6 (KJB)

Do not worry about what those who are working evil are doing; rather watch your own heart, and mind.  Pray for those who are doing evil, and live your life delighting in the LORD God, and His word.  Those who do evil will perish just as the grass, and the flower.

Those of us who are trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ are assured of eternal life with Him; and that is forever and forever.  Let us keep our eyes on the Lord and His work.  We are not to close our eyes and try to convince ourselves that there is no evil; that would be dangerous and foolish.  Our lives of trust, faith, and delight in the LORD will be repelling to all that is evil.

There is a phrase in verse four above “…He shall give you the desires of your heart”.  Now many think this means material blessings, health, wealth, survival, security, success.  When we delight in the Lord those things will become very secondary in our thinking.  Our desires, when we delight in the Lord will be what He desires.  He gives us the desires of His heart – heavenly blessing; grace, mercy, peace, joy, and power in prayer; just to name a few.

When the Christian walks with God He brings forth righteousness as light, and everything to do with it will be seen by all who know you.

Trust in the LORD today; delight in Him, and He will bring it to pass.

Words of the Prophets – Ezekiel (3)

Why Will You Die???

“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.  Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;  If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.  When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.  But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.  Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.” Ezekiel 33:10-20 (KJV)

Words of the Prophets – Ezekiel (2)

God Has No Pleasure…

The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying,  What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?  As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.  Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.  But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,  And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,  And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, Hath walked in My statutes, and hath kept My judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.

If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,  And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife,  Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,  Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.  Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife,  Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,  That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in My statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.  Yet say ye, Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.  Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?  When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not My ways equal? Are not your ways unequal?

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezekiel 18:1-32 (KJV)

Words of the Prophets – Ezekiel

Responsibilities: The Watchman’s and The People’s

“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:  If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.  But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.  So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:1-9 (KJV)

Slaves

“What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” Romans 6:15-20 (KJV)

We are all born into sin.  Separated from God, totally depraved, and without hope apart from God’s intervention.  We are bound to sin, death, and the grave.  We were slaves to sin.  That sounds bleak and dark does it not?  That is our condition when we human beings are born into this world.

We cannot help but sin, because we are born into the slavery of sin.  Someone has said, “We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.”  That is why there is evil in this old world.  Jeremiah the prophet said it right,,,

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

When we are away from God, outside of His grace and mercy there is no help to keep us from evil, and doing evil.  God the Creator, the Almighty, All-Knowing, All-Powerful and All-Present GOD knows our plight, our sin situation, our condemnation, and He has intervened to deliver us.

He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ as our sacrifice for sin.  He was our sin-bearer.  The Perfect One for the sinful, imperfect ones.  He was smitten for our sins.  Through faith in the Christ and His finished work on the cross we are set free from sin, its slavery, its condemnation, and its death; and we will live forever.

Now, having been set free from sin, we are now the slaves, the servants of righteousness.  We have the freedom to do good, to do right, and to shun all that is evil – all that is against God, against His word, against His Son and against His Spirit.

Hear the Spirit of God as He shows you the Lord Jesus Christ as Son of God, God the Son, and the Immutable [Unchanging] One.

The Just LORD in the Midst…

“Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. The just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His judgment to light, He faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.” Zephaniah 3:1-5 (KJV)

The prophet states, speaking of the LORD, “He will do no iniquity”.  Iniquity is lawlessness, wickedness, and there is no evil within the LORD of all creation.  Iniquity is in the hearts of those whom God created in His image, after His likeness; because of Adam’s and Eve’s rebellion in the beginning.  Reading the Bible you can see the iniquity of man progressively attacking the very work and character of God; to no avail, of course.

The “Her” of whom the prophet references is the city of Jerusalem, the oppressing city.  She would not hear the prophets’ warnings.  The false prophets would not correct her, and the priests were vile and did not teach, or wrongly taught the law and Scripture.

Some thoughts from the ESV Study Bible…

3:3 Among those who should lead the city aright, but have in fact turned against her, are its officials, the civil authorities (1:8;  1 Chron. 28:1), and judges, those in charge of settling legal disputes (Ex. 18:13, 22).  Instead of showing benevolence, thse leaders were acting as roaring lions, ferocious beasts possessing great power, about to seize prey (Amos 3:4), and as evening (or desert) wolves, known for their ravenous appetite (Gen. 49:27).  Leaders, rathere than guarding their flock, devour it.

It is iniquity to disobey the word of the LORD.  It is iniquity to fail to love the LORD, His Son, and His word.

Will you hear the word of the Lord today, believe it concerning His law, His commandments, His Son and His cross, burial, and resurrection? That is the beginning place – at the cross of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.

 

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Twenty and Three

“When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.” Ezekiel 33:18-20 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas Today?

I want to live, walk, and stand in the righteousness that is found only through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and to live in His power, glory, and strength; and I want you to join with me; because the righteousness of mankind is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), and will keep us from GOD.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Twenty and Four

“And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 29:16 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always trust in the LORD and to be a reason for others to trust in Him too; to not be distracted by blessings, but to rest confidently in the Blesser who is GOD through His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross, was buried, and rose again.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Twenty and Seven

“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezekiel 18:30-32 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to be a pleasure to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit of God; and when the body that I am living in dies I want God to be pleasured by it; so I want my life and my death to glorify Him, and I know, I trust, and I believe that God sent His only begotten Son, and that whosoever believes in Him (and that “whosoever” is you and me) shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

Also see Psalm 116:15.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Sixty and Three

“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD has spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel does not know, My people does not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” Isaiah 1:2-9 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always hear the Word of God, spoken by God’s servants, and do the word and will of God; and I want all those who call themselves Christian to hear and do the word and will of God; so that God will be glorified in and through our godly, Christlike living.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Seventy and Two

Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

Please note that these are the words of Jesus.  Those who do the will of His Father are those who will enter the kingdom of heaven.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want you to do the will of God in Christ Jesus, and that is to believe on Him whom the Father has sent.

“Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:28-29

Christmas Day Two Hundred Forty and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always guard my mouth and tongue that I not speak, or write anything that unnecessisarily offends others; or attacks them personally; and that I might always speak what lifts up my Lord and God Jesus Christ.

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” Psalm 141:3-4 (KJV)

Our Need to Pray

Prayer is something many people talk about. Prayer: just what is it? Is prayer not one speaking with God?

Can an unredeemed individual pray to a holy God; and get an answer? The Psalmist has written, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18).

How important is prayer? It was important to Jesus. It was His time with His Father, and provided solace, strength, and wisdom in decision making. When He was overwhelmed by masses of people; He would go away to pray (Luke 5:12-16). Hear what Luke says…

“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 (KJV)

Let me just close by adding this comment. If Jesus the Son of God, God the Son needed to pray; so do I. I cannot live, breath or have any being without Him.

To whom do we pray? To the Father through the Son; because He made the way possible into the very throne of His grace; to find help in the time of need. (See Hebrews 4:16).

NOW, Let us go pray, and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Giving, Praying, Going, Doing, and Saying

If you are born in a hospital, does not make you a doctor, nurse, or even a hospital bed. Neither, if you are born in a garage does that make you a car, truck or motorcycle. Those may seem to be somewhat pathetic thoughts, but the point will be made in a moment.

Hear the words of Jesus:

“Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name and in Thy name have cast out devils and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

There are many morally good people in the world who would give you the shirt off their back, and maybe even more than that. Being morally good does not mean they are good in the eyes of God.

Just as Jesus says in the above text; just saying His name does not mean one knows Him. I hear people using His name all the time; but let me tell you they do not know Him; not the way they use His precious name. Then, there are those who claim to know Him, but do not trust His finished work on the cross.

They continue to live doing things to gain God’s favor. They may attend every Church service. They may pray. They might even read a chapter a day from the Bible or read a daily devotional guide; all trying to gain favor with God. Yet, they do not know Him.

In the gospel of Luke Jesus says,

“And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46

What must one do to be a Christian; a true follower of Jesus Christ? Believe on the One whom the Father has sent (John 6:29). He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again. He is returning.  Will He find you faithful; or in the world culture?

Egypt and You

The nation of Egypt was at one time a world ruler. In the days before the captivity of Israel in Egypt, and during their captivity there the nation was a world ruler; even believed to have been the ruler of the known world at that time.

What is God’s purpose for Egypt? The answer to that is found in the final portion of our verses for today:

“Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: and I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 29:13-16 (KJV)

“But they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” Yes! This phrase is one of the most prominent throughout the prophecy of Ezekiel; at least 63 times. It is said of other nations; including Israel. It is said of individuals. The LORD God wants you to know that He is the LORD. One day you will. I only pray that it will not be too late for salvation.

God’s word to Egypt was that they too would go into captivity, that they would one day return to their land, but they would never be a world ruling power again. They went from a world ruling nation; basically to a world ruled nation. God still has great plans for Egypt.

No matter how far you have fallen; there is still hope for you. No matter how much evil may be in your life; Jesus Christ died for you; took your sins, your evil upon Himself, and bled and died so that you might be saved from your sin, guilt, condemnation and death. Know that He is the LORD today.

GOD Does Not Turn Away My Prayer

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.” Psalm 66:18-20 (KJV)

Have you ever noticed a time when it seems as though you are not getting through to God, as you pray? It just seems to feel as though your prayers are not even getting past the ceiling? That is; should I say; a painful, sorrowful feeling.

When God hears our prayer it is due solely to His mercy and grace. He hears your prayer, my prayer every time we pray. Yet, it seems as though He does not.

Part of the problem is addressed by the Psalmist when he writes, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me…” To “regard iniquity” is to hold on to it; refusing to let it go; even to the point of rejecting God, His word and His direction for our lives.

There are things which is within the realm of “regarding iniquity” which hinders our prayers. One is for the husband not to treat his wife well (1 Peter 3:7), and I am almost certain that that would include the wife not treating her husband well. Another thing is praying with lustful desire which would include greed for things (James 4:3).

The prayers God hears are those we pray in His name. Jesus said, “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24). Also, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. When we have received the change which comes with receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour our heart’s desire changes too. We desire what God desire, and so pray accordingly “In His name”.

Jesus said, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

God hears the prayer of His people whose hearts are directed toward His heart by the cross of Jesus Christ.

Wicked Workers, and the Work of the LORD

“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up.” Psalm 28:3-5 (KJV)

To be drawn away with the wicked, with the workers of iniquity would be drawing the Psalmist into the pits of hell. That was not his heart, nor his destiny.

The heart of the Psalmist is already established in the LORD. He calls the LORD “my Rock” his faith is in Him, and in no other.

The “wicked” are those who are deceived by their own lust, they are morally corrupt, they are ungodly, wicked, and condemned. These are they who speak well of their neighbors to their face, but will destroy them with an opportunity to prosper at their expense.

The “workers of iniquity” are the wicked. Their endeavors and their words condemn them. They have no regard for God. When the rain falls they are unthankful to the One who alone gives the rain. Of the “Operation of His hands” Spurgeon in the Treasury of David has written,

God works in creation – nature teems with proofs of his wisdom and goodness, yet purblind atheists refuse to see him: he works in providence, ruling and overruling and his hand is very manifest in human history, yet the infidel will not discern him: he works in grace – remarkable conversions are still met with on all hands, yet the ungodly refuse to see the operations of the Lord.

His hands, and His operations are great. He is Awesome and glorious in all His ways. He is in the operations of the universe. He holds the earth on her axis, and the planets and stars in their place. If He were to remove His hands everything would fly apart, and explode into pieces. Do you O sinner not see His mercy? Do you not see His grace given in the sending of Jesus Christ His holy and blessed Son; dying on the cross for our sin debt? O condemned one you need not be “drawn away” with the wicked. Through Jesus Christ He will give you a new heart, and a new life.

Despising the Word of the LORD

“But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken His commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.” Numbers 15:30-31 (KJV)

Have you ever heard someone say, “I know that is a sin, but I am going to go ahead and do it.” They might even include in their statement something like this; “I know God is a forgiving God. He will forgive me anyway.” That is presumptuous sin. According to the above verse “…his iniquity shall be upon him”

The individual who would live this way, is in great peril; and is not taking what God says seriously. This individual is a blasphemer. Verses 32 – 36 show a man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath day; a clear violation of the fourth commandment “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”. He “thumbed his nose” at God, and said, “I will do it anyway”. He was stoned to death.

This type of disobedient sin would not come from the heart of a man or woman of God; who has been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

There is forgiveness of sin. There is only death to blaspheme God by “despising the word of the LORD”.

The apostle John has written,

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Presumptuous willful sin is still a serious matter with God. Let us always flee to the cross of Jesus.

Bow down Thine ear…

“Bow down Thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.” Psalm 86:1 (KJV)

A prayer, a Psalm of David; he humbles himself before the LORD in a time of need.

As should any child of God; but also any who realize they are outside the will of God, and will humble themselves before the Potentate of all of life.

God will hear the prayer of the humble.  He has no ear for hearing the self sufficient, the arrogant, the proud; for they are holding on to the iniquity of their hearts (Psalm 66:18).

If you will notice the position of David’s heart.  He sees himself as “Poor” and “Needy”.  His greatest need; as is mine and yours is God Himself.  He has given us Jesus, and His death on the cross that we might come to Him.  It is the only way.  So come.

No Fret, nor Envy

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” Psalm 37:1 (KJV)

For short commentary on this verse I will turn to Charles H. Spurgeon this morning:

The Psalm opens with the first precept. It is alas! too common for believers in their hours of adversity to think themselves harshly dealt with when they see persons utterly destitute of religion and honesty, rejoicing in abundant prosperity. Much needed is the command, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers.” To fret is to worry, to have the heart-burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law-breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire: it is a lesson learned only in the school of grace, when one comes to view the most paradoxical providences with the devout complacency of one who is sure that the Lord is righteous in all his acts. It seems hard to carnal judgments that the best meat should go to the dogs, while loving children pine for want of it. “Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” The same advice under another shape. When one is poor, despised, and in deep trial, our old Adam naturally becomes envious of the rich and great; and when we are conscious that we have been more righteous than they, the devil is sure to be at hand with blasphemous reasonings. Stormy weather may curdle even the cream of humanity. Evil men instead of being envied, are to be viewed with horror and aversion; yet their loaded tables, and gilded trappings, are too apt to fascinate our poor haft-opened eyes. Who envies the fat bullock the ribbons and garlands which decorate him as he is led to the shambles? Yet the case is a parallel one; for ungodly rich men are but as beasts fattened for the slaughter.

From The Treasury of David.

Evil people will fail in all their doings.  Their eternity will be loss.  What is there to envy?

The only hope for all people; no matter their religion or lot in life is Jesus Christ.  He died to pay our sin debt, was buried, and bodily arose again, and forever lives, and will one day soon return in all His glory.

Before God Undone

“Then said I, ‘Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, ‘Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.’ Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.’” Isaiah 6:5-8 (KJV)

When the LORD had revealed Himself to the prophet he was weak in the knees, and fell before the Almighty, realizing he was undone and unclean. 

When we meet God, through His Son Jesus Christ (which is the only way to meet God), we realize our uncleanness, our undoneness, our unholiness, and we fall on His grace, and into His grace.

The fire [live coal] of the Spirit and the Word do a work of cleansing in us, and we are made clean and made right for the presence of Holy God.

Our response to being cleansed by God is to hear His word and we realize there are people who do not know Him.  We hear God’s call and like Isaiah we will say, “Here am I; send me”.

Trust in the work of Jesus on the cross for you.  Call on His name believing Him.

Words for Christian Living – Enduring Love

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (KJV)

This “Charity” is the love God has for us.  It is love that we as Christians are to have for one another, and others outside the Body of Christ.  How much does God love us?  Enough to give His only begotten Son to die on the cross to pay a debt that was mine and yours to pay.

The charity we show is not selfish; seeking something in return, but the glory of God.  If we will practice this love there would be more marriages that will endure the tests of time.  Practicing this love of God there would be less rejoicing in iniquity; and more rejoicing in the truth.  This love “Endures all things”; but that does not mean we do not pray for change.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Pleasure of the LORD

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”  Ezekiel 18:23
‘Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,’ saith the Lord GOD. ‘Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth,’ saith the Lord GOD: ‘wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.'”  Ezekiel 18:30-32 (KJV)

-T.A.

Pride, Fulness, and Idleness

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”  Ezekiel 16:49-50 (KJV)

Those who are always fighting for the “marriage” of same sex couples are bringing up the thought that the Bible does not mention the sin of homosexuality as being the cause of God’s judgment upon Sodom.  Well take a look at the above verses.

The “pride” is instantly recognized as setting themselves against the plan of God – going their own way.  Pride of that fashion affects the way people handle their blessings; leading to fulness without sharing it with others; forsaking the poor and needy.  “Haughty” arrogant attitudes lead to any “abomination” you could imagine.  And GOD calls Sodomy/homosexual behavior an “Abomination”.  See Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; and Romans 1:25-28, and there are others throughout the New Testament warning of the perils of this kind of rebellion against God.

-T.A.

The One Who Delights in Mercy

Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy.  He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.  Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”  Micah 7:18-20 (KJV)

The God of the Bible; Old and New Testament is now, has always been, and forever shall be the merciful GOD.  “He delights in mercy” are part of the words written above.

Every living being on earth in the past, present and future have experienced His mercy.  We have no right to His mercy.  We do not deserve His mercy.  We cannot earn it.  He gives it without us even taking note of it.

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

Someone has said, “Mercy is not receiving what we actually deserve.  Wrath.  Grace is receiving from God what we do not deserve.  Love, forgiveness of sin.”  That is pretty close anyway.  God loves His creation, and has sent His only beloved Son to die for our sins, and to raise Him to life again that we all might be made just in the eyes of God.  All who will believe on Him.

-T.A.

The Return

O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.  Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto Him, ‘Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.  Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, ‘Ye are our gods: for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy.”  Hosea 14:1-3 (KJV)

The Israeli society of the prophet Hosea’s day was not dissimilar from our own.  They worshipped gods aplenty.  There is not many in our society today who would admit to worshipping “gods”, but the United States of America is full of dieties which are worshipped.  There are two I can think of which are promoted everyday.  One is Democracy, as though that is the answer for all ills and lack of freedom in the world.  The other is Capitalism as though that will solve all the financial ills of the world.  There are others;  Money and finance, Science and technology, and Global unity.  One that may make even the best of people angry is we worship our children too.

I see it everyday.  People will jump when their children say “Jump”, “I have a ballgame tonight.  It is 100 miles away.”  Mom and Dad will take off from work to go to the game.  Many will not get up early enough on Sunday morning to darken the doors of their local church and worship the only one and true God.

The Return is when God’s people will hear God’s voice and return to Him, and realize that the only hope I have; the only hope and promise we have is in the LORD of all things.  You will find Him in the cross of His Son Jesus; His death, burial and bodily resurrection.

-T.A.

Unsecured Testimony

Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?’  And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

Sad to say that there are many who call themselves “Christian” calling Him “Lord, Lord”, but are not known by Him.  Our security rest in His knowing us

-T.A.

God’s Word Today 081412

Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, ‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is His name, great in counsel, and mighty in work: for Thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made Thee a name, as at this day; and hast brought forth Thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror; and hast given them this land, which Thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey; and they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not Thy voice, neither walked in Thy law; they have done nothing of all that Thou commandedst them to do: therefore Thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them.  Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what Thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, Thou seest it.  And Thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, ‘Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.”  Jeremiah 32:16-25 (KJV)

-T.A.

Day 48 – From Love to Love and Salvation – excuse me day 49

If there is one thing that the Bible declares to the follower of Christ and to any who will read it it is that God loves the world.  However, we also will find within the pages much of the fact that God is holy and righteous and will not overlook our sin.

My reading today, this morning, took me through the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs, and chapters 1 – 6 of the prophet Isaiah.  Now there is contrast.  From a love story to prophetic warnings; however, after some thought on the matter I see these chapters of Isaiah as the love of God toward His wife (Judah), warning and wooing her back to Himself; and that He will do whatever it takes to bring her back to Himself.

To be perfectly honest with you I enjoy reading the Song of Solomon, but I do not see a whole lot to say about the matter except that we can see in this love story; God’s love for His people, and when she is right with Him, her love for Him.

Here is how the young Shulamite woman feels for her groom –

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”  Song of Solomon 2:4 (KJV)

She has been taken to what she call “the banqueting house” and all she senses is his love for her.  If you will notice in reading the Song, all the words she has for her groom is love and admiration.  She adores him; and that should be what the Bride of Christ feels for Him as well.  After all He purchased us with His own blood; redeeming us from our sin and condemnation.  Should we not be loving, admiring, and adoring Him; even worshipping Him always.

One can learn much from reading the Song about how a man should love, and adore their girlfriends; and their wives.  There are several times it mentions too, about waiting for “love”; most likely referring to the sexual relationship.  Waiting for the time when there is a lifelong commitment to one another through marriage (8:4).  Marriage is about our commitment to Christ (Ephesians 5:25-32).

The prophet Isaiah was a man who loved the LORD.  He was a prophet from the nobility of his day.  The time was one of wealth and prosperity, but the people had forsaken the LORD of hosts.  They had turned to idols from the living God.  The prophet says to them –

“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, ‘I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me.  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider.’  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” Isaiah 1:3-4 (KJV)

The prophet found it difficult to see owners of oxen and donkeys able to use them for plowing, hauling things and such without any problem; the donkey and the ox being obedient to their masters commands, and guidance taps; yet the people of God did not know God in obedience; the One who had delivered them from Egypt; provided them with many judges who delivered them from tormentors and persecutors.

Yet, here too is a love story.  One of a wonderful salvation.  The prophet’s name means, “The LORD is salvation”.  The salvation of Israel is a direct result of the love of God for them.  Their salvation does not mean they are a perfect people; just a delivered people.  The same is true for the Christian of today.

It is the love of God; and the fact that He is holy and righteous; that will not allow His children to be a success at sinning.

“But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.” Isaiah 5:16

The Lord loves you today.  Christian do not continue in your sin.  Repent and obey Him.  If you are still in your sin that love has been shown to the world by the death of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, on the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection.  The goal for the child of God is to sin no more; and one day that will be accomplished through the return of Jesus Christ in His glory.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Vineyard of Red Wine

The title above comes from verse two of Isaiah 27.  It is a far cry from the verses of chapter five of the prophet.  A vineyard in chaos, worthy of destruction, and to grow without care and protection from its owner.

“In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.” Isaiah 27:2 (KJV)

I know nothing of the flavor of “red wine”, but I have drank the sweet flavorful juice of the red grape, and it is fabulous.  That is what the LORD and the prophet Isaiah is telling us.  No more will Israel be judged, but, rather she will be fruitful, flavorful, and sweet.  She will blossom as a rose and her enemies will be put away.

The LORD says, “I will keep it night and day” (v. 3).  Then to leave no doubt of whom He is speaking He says,

“He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.”  Isaiah 27:6

Through the many years Israel has departed from the LORD and through those many years God has chastised them, and continues to chastise them.  God is working in the nation to bring them to the place where they will love Him, and He will prosper them greatly; just as He has promised for all these years.  Not one word of God will fall, or fail.

“Hath He smitten him, as He smote those that smote him? or is He slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by Him?  In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.   By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.”  Isaiah 27:7-9

The LORD will not have mercy on those who had or have no mercy on the people of Israel.  He will show them no favor (v. 11).  There will be no grace [favor of God] toward those who have rejected Him and His people.  When will this come to pass.  I don’t know.  I believe it will be soon; and by that I don’t mean tomorrow or even next year; but within the years of God’s own timing.

In that time all God’s people of Israel will gather to worship their Messiah around the throne in Jerusalem;

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”  Isaiah 27:12-13

One of the things that Christians and unbelievers can learn from this is that God will carry through with His promises.  Not one word shall fall to the ground.  “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).  Rest assured Christian.  Repent and believe unbeliever.

-Tim A. Blankenship