Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Posted by Samuel at 10:05 PM
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Posted by Samuel at 5:41 AM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. - Psalm 63:1
You see those other billboards where also offering happiness, joy and contentment. And while they were offering those things they have no more ability to fill them than a McDonald's sweet tea does to keep you from ever being thirsty again. While it's easy to see that a sugary drink won't satisfy for the rest of your life other things are much more deceptive. One such deception that is new to me (as in the past week or so) is the idea of being in a 'relationship'. The deception is that somehow if this relationship would come to fruition (in my timing) than I would be filled with joy and could than be content. It is a lie.
What my soul needs is to find satisfaction in God. That I would be able to say in agreement with King David that "Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips." (Psalm 63:3-5) When I realize God's steadfast love towards me, that even though I was an enemy of God Christ still died for me. I will have great reason to have joy. When I learn that money and relationships are temporary, than I can begin to marvel at the fact that Christ redeemed me and I get to enjoy Him for all eternity.
Of all people on planet earth, I am realizing how much I need to progress in falling out of love with this world and continually falling deeper in love with Christ. I am constantly made aware of my weaknesses and inability to even find my joy in Christ. So I find what a good friend of mine wrote to me recently a great encouragement:
Psalm 86:4 "Gladden the soul of your servant, for to You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." The thing about this verse that I just love is that this is a humble cry to the Lord from the Psalmist to gladden the soul of His servant. His servant knows that he cannot gladden his own heart by his own doing; he needs the help of the Father. And I know that I need the help of our Heavenly Father right now as well, which turns this verse into my own humble cry.
Posted by Samuel at 1:33 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Posted by Samuel at 3:08 AM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Posted by Samuel at 11:10 AM
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward. - Proverbs 11:18
Posted by Samuel at 3:39 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Posted by Samuel at 12:02 AM
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4 (NASB)
I recently memorized these verses with some friends. When we recite them we normally discuss our thoughts on the verses, how they encouraged and convicted us. Per usual I drag on and on, trying to get across simple things that take me a long time. All that to say, these verses are very straight forward and I would encourage anyone to memorize them.
These verses have become a great encouragement to me over the past couple weeks. Sort of my new "fighter verses". Here's what I've been thinking regarding these verses. God brings trials and temptations so that I would not draw my joy, fulfillment or satisfaction from this world. Because God is sovereign I can trust that any 'testing of my faith' is for my ultimate good.
The testing of my faith according to verse three produces endurance. Endurance in self-control when tempted to sin. Endurance in kindness when others are mocking or belittling me for my faith in Christ. Endurance in pursuing Christ as my joy when I under go depressing times. Endurance in serving when it is most difficult to humble myself and serve others. Endurance in trusting God that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
Enduring such difficult situations by the grace of God will in return produce a life change. A life change so that in the end we will be perfect and complete, finding complete satisfaction in God Himself, not buying into the deception of the world.
I believe if we are honest we each desire the last part of being "perfect and complete, lacking nothing." If one is in Christ there ought to be a great desire to be like Him, to not be molded by this world. That said, how well am I doing at enduring the testing of my faith? Is it producing endurance which produces a life change? How about you? Can we honestly say that we are taking joy in the current testing of our faith, knowing that God is wanting to use it to produce an eternal work in each of our hearts? Before I close, I want to make it clear it is not by my work that I am able to endure and make these changes. I get to "act the miracle" of God's grace towards me (Cor 15:10 and Phil 2:12-13).
Father, test my faith that I would become more like you. Not because I have such a great faith, but rather because the object of my faith.. Jesus Christ is great. It is by His grace that I can endure to the end. Keep the deceptions of this world far from me Father, give me contentment in you.
Posted by Samuel at 12:26 AM
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, That they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you. - Proverbs 22:17-19
Just a short thought here that God was impressing upon me today as I reflected upon these verses. I see my lack of trust in the Lord in so many ways. When I don't trust God it leads to me worrying, to me trusting my own understanding, to sin of all kinds. But this is true of everyone is it not? Think with me, the first sin of Adam came because he doubted what God had said. He began to trust his own reasoning and the result: the complete and total ruin of all mankind.
So back to theses verses, I was reading/thinking/meditating/praying over them. And it struck me that verse seventeen, eighteen and verse nineteen where intricately woven. The command is given to "incline your ear [to wisdom] and apply your mind to my knowledge." In doing so it will not be a burden, rather verse 18 makes it clear that it will be pleasant (for those who are in Christ Jesus at least). Furthermore we see the reason for doing so is that we might be ready for an answer.
The result is beautiful and very helpful I think. "So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you." The result of reading his word, meditating upon it and praying it into my life is a trust in the Lord. This isn't something which happens over night, but rather it is change of life. Because Romans 1 makes it clear that all people are born with sin nature and do not honor or trust God. This is process of reading His word, taking delight in His word and in Him and furthermore to trust Him is what we call sanctification. Simply put, it's becoming more like Jesus.
Father, I believe... help thou my unbelief.
Posted by Samuel at 10:21 PM
Friday, March 11, 2011
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. - Psalms 23:1
Posted by Samuel at 7:07 PM
Friday, January 28, 2011
"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth." Job 19:25
Let's step back a little further, remember that Job's life was completely turned upside down. He lost all of his children to a tragic accident, thieves stole livestock, others stole his other possessions and servants. By the end of it all his wife had told him to curse God and die. One can only imagine the great weight from his children's deaths, anxiety over the loss of his lively hood and property.. furthermore the betrayal of trust from his wife. I believe his situation was something we would categorize as a 'train wreck.'
That said, the beauty of this statement shines through all the more! Here Job's life is upside down, there is not much he can rely on... definitely not his friends or even wife. But Job remains hopeful of his redeemer. No his life wasn't easy, no doubt he couldn't see his way out (short of death). However his trust was not in family, possessions, status or position.. truly his trust was in God. Because of this he was able to say "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives."
Father, my feeble heart trusts and rests in other things besides you. I do not look to you alone as I should, I do not treasure you as the treasure you are. Father I often times exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator. Lord I need your work in my heart, I don't have the strength or power to change my own heart. Even my desire to change is tainted by selfish and foolish ambitions. Lord you have redeemed me, you have literally bought me Father God and I am yours. Conquer my heart Abba Father, and reign as the supreme and sovereign King.
Posted by Samuel at 9:46 PM
Monday, November 29, 2010
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
Posted by Samuel at 11:15 PM
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD'S house." 2 Chronicles 7:1-2
And this awesome God who's glory is so great that men could not stand near it. Has redeemed me unto Himself that for all of eternity I will explore and find joy in the glory of God. May my response be to the glory of God as the Israelites was in verse three: "All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, "Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting." May my heart bow before the Lord, and may my tongue sing forth His grace, love and goodness.
Posted by Samuel at 12:21 AM
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
"He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death." 2 Kings 15:3-5
Posted by Samuel at 11:16 PM