Living A Thankful Life

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

21Nov  With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I want to unpack a concept of “Living A Thankful Life.”  We will see what the Bible teaches about this kind of life that God want every believer to life.  It entails three primary areas of living out our Christian faith: what we think, what we do, and what we say.  I am only going to focus on one verse of Scripture for each topic; I encourage you to find others that will strengthen your commitment to life for God’s glory and for the good of others.

Today we’ll look at what the Bible teaches about our thought life.  The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such thing.”

You won’t find any of what some call “stinking-thinking” in this command from God! Notice that I said command.  This is as much a command from God as any of the ten that were inscribed by the finger of God on the tablets of stone and given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  Here the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, described the thought life of those who are committed to living a thankful life . . . regardless of the cost or circumstance.

I say “regardless of the cost or circumstance” because Paul did not qualify this divine imperative with words like, “Think such thoughts when all is going well in your life – when the sky is blue and the clouds are fleecy and the sun is shining brightly.”  He simply said that we are to think about such things as a way of living a thankful life before the face of God.

Paul explained that the only way that this will be a mark in the life of the Christian is to keep our thoughts focused on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. And what will stimulate such thoughts?  Where will we be exposed to these qualities? Not in the newspaper . . . not in magazines . . . not in movies or music . . . certainly not on television or the Internet!  This kind of thinking will only be found and forged by being immersed in the Word of God.

The only way we will think God’s thoughts

After Him is to know God’s thoughts;

And the only way to know God’s thoughts

Is to read, study, and marinate in His true,

Noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable Word.

So . . . how are you doing in the area of thinking?  How much time are you spending in God’s Word each day?  Each week?  Each month?  Remember . . .

The book you don’t read won’t help you

. . . And that truism most definitely includes the Bible.  Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s Word is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating our very soul and spirit, but . . .

It will not have that effect in the lives of those who do not read it!

I can tell you that one of the best things Kay and I have done is to read through the Bible in one year.  Our church family gathers each week to study through the Bible during our small group Bible Study Classes and during worship.  God uses these opportunities to help us become, and stay, grounded in the Word of God.

Perhaps this blog today is that gentle and providential “push” for you too.  Make no mistake;

Living a thankful life will only happen

When we are very intentional

About what we put in to our minds.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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The Key to Thanksgiving

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

20Nov  As we enter into the week of thanksgiving it would serve us well to take a moment to reflect on the countless blessings our Lord has given to us throughout this year.  At the Davis home we share what we are thankful for on Thanksgiving Day as we sit at the table before the meal.

We have a tendency to clearly remember “the bad stuff” that happens throughout the year; it is all too easy to forget about the all the good that God has done for us.

Recalling our blessings helps to

Bring God’s goodness into focus

And provides a great record

To look back on in years to come.

The purpose of all of our Thanksgiving celebrations should be to cause us to return to what the psalmist said in Psalm 119:57 – “The Lord is my portion.”

This anchors the key to thanksgiving.

If we are not careful, we can consider God’s blessings to be rooted in possessions rather than a Person . . .

  • Family
  • Home
  • Health
  • Job
  • Friends

Yet . . .

No matter how full our wallets or how large our homestead,

When the Lord is our portion, we have everything!

You can have all the gold in the world, but without God you are the poorest person who ever lived.

Sadly, many Christians seek to find their happiness and fulfillment in people and the things of this world.

  • They crave the applause of men.
  • They work for the approval of others.
  • They long for the affection of another.

And when they get it, they have received their reward in full.  At the end of the day, unless the Lord is your ultimate happiness and fulfillment, your life will leave you empty and aching.

May these words from the great Charles Spurgeon inspire you this Thanksgiving season:

“But when thou hast God for thy portion, thou hast more than all else put together.  In Him every want is met, whether in life or in death.  With God for thy portion thou are rich indeed, for He will supply thy need, comfort they heart, assuage thy grief, guide thy steps, be with thee in the dark valley, and then take thee home, to enjoy Him as thy portion forever.”

I encourage you to take a few moments to prayerfully consider all that God has blessed you with this year.  Write it down and share it with your family.

Make sure that at the very top of your list you have the Master as your portion,

Because when you have Him, you do indeed have everything.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Untouchable

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

19Nov  The Bible says this about Paul in Acts 23:11, “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

I have a word of tremendous comfort for you today, which is rooted in the passage from which our verse was taken.  We read in the book of Acts that the apostle Paul was in harm’s way after having confronted the hypocrisy and unbelief of the Jewish religious leaders.  The uproar was so furious that the Roman guard took Paul away and put him into their barracks for his own protection.  While some of the religious leaders were plotting to kill Paul, the Lord Himself appeared to Paul and told Paul that he was, in a word, untouchable because God was not finished with him yet.

And the same is true for you and me!

The Bible makes it clear that we are all

“Immortal” until our work is done.

God’s purposes will be accomplished,

And

Nothing and no one can stand in His way.

It mattered not that the corrupt religious leaders had conspired to kill the apostle Paul.  In fact, Scripture tells us that “there were more than forty who formed this conspiracy” (Acts 23:13), but forty men were no match for God because God was not finished with Paul yet. The whole world could have taken its stand against Paul, but it would have been impotent to do anything to him while the Omnipotent Lord of the universe had more work for Paul to do.

Make no mistake, when your work for the Lord is done,

He will usher you into His eternal presence

Along with all the saints of God.

But that will not happen

One moment before you have

Completed your assignment here on earth.

So, as the angel of the Lord said to Paul, “Be of good cheer! . . . we can take comfort and hope in God because He is not finished with you yet.

As an ambassador of the Almighty,

Your safe passage is guaranteed

While you are fulfilling

Your service for your Savior.

As a disciple of Jesus, you have been called to testify to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Every child of God has been given the assignment of participating in the expansion of the kingdom of God.  Is there anything currently in your life that looks like it will keep you from fulfilling your calling?  Remember. . .

The Lord is standing right by your side

Every step of the way into glory.

He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you.

So be at peace as you participate in the greatest work

On this side of the grave: witnessing to Jesus Christ.

Let this truth sink in and ultimately set you free:

He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion,

Regardless of the cost or circumstances you face (Philippians 1:6).

You can count on that truth as absolute certainty, because greater is He who is in you than the one who is in this world. No weapon formed against you will keep you from finishing the work God has set before you; because under the care of the Almighty, you are UNTOUCHABLE!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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The Call Of God . . . Getting Something Unexpected And Unwanted

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

16Nov Jeremiah is led by the Holy Spirit to write in Jeremiah 20:7-10a, “O LORD You enticed, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.  I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me.  For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, ‘violence and plunder!’ Because the word of the LORD was made to me a reproach and a derision daily.  Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’  But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.  For I heard many mocking: fear on every side!”

During high school and college I experienced the benefits of training and practice.  All athletes are familiar with the benefits of committing to these disciplines.  For example, for those who have the goal to begin the season in shape and ready for play, workouts in exercise, running, and cardio-stamina drills will help them do that; for those who have the goal of getting stronger, participating in a consistent weight training program will produce the desired result.  For those who have the goal of increasing speed, a systematic running and sprinting program would be the way to go.  Although this principle is also at work for the Christian who desires a closer walk with Jesus; if we consistently engage in the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, prayer, corporate worship, witnessing, service, giving, and so on, the one that does this is likely to find that God often gives us . . .

Something totally unexpected . . .

Perhaps even unwanted!

Today’s verses are an example of the unexpected.  The prophet Jeremiah did not foresee the trials and rejection he would endure when God called him into his prophetic ministry.  Jeremiah’s preaching ministry did not return the results he had expected.  Jeremiah was faithful to preach the Word of God, but his reward was beatings and prison.  While you and I may never see the inside of a dungeon, we often find ourselves in the same situation as Jeremiah:

Experiencing the exact opposite of what

We had expected God to do in our lives.

Tragically, when we are confronted by the unexpected, a root of bitterness may grow within us, diminishing God’s glory in our eyes and robbing us of the good God intended for us.

Our God is in the business of delivering the unexpected.  Because God sees the beginning from the end, He knows what is best and He orchestrates events to produce His perfect results – which are often completely unexpected!

Like Jeremiah, we do certain things

And expect certain results.

 Without realizing it,

We put our God in a box.

And once we do that,

We begin serving the “god” we wanted,

Rather than the God who is.

Here are three things to remember if we are going to have any measure of peace and joy in this life:

  1. There is a God.
  2. It is not me.
  3. And I don’t get a vote!

Regardless of where this message finds you today, remember that God is in the business of delivering the unexpected.

We all must keep these powerful words from our Lord before us:

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

The better we become at “being still,”

The better we will become at receiving the unexpected

And the freedom, joy, and faithfulness it is designed to deliver.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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The Leprous Heart

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

15Nov  The Bible says in 2 Kings 5:20, “Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, ‘My master was has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.’”

The story of the prophet Elisha being used of God to heal Naaman of leprosy is well known by students of the Scriptures.  There is another story, however, that is closely associated with this miraculous event that is less familiar and perhaps more profound in its message:

The greed of Gehazi.

Naaman was the commander of the army of the king of Syria.  The Bible tells us that he was a mighty man of valor, but suffered from leprosy.  One day he sought out the prophet Elisha in order to be cured.  Naaman was displeased with the response he received from Elisha, but he was persuaded to do as he was instructed and went down to the Jordan, dipped himself in the river seven times, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child.

Naaman was hugely grateful for his healing and wanted to reward Elisha, but Elisha refused.  Enter Elisha’s servant Gehazi, who had a leprous heart that was beating for things smaller than God.  Gehazi ran after Naaman, requesting the reward that Elisha had refused.  When Elisha discerned his servant’s actions, the prophet rebuked Gehazi for his greed, and Gehazi became as Naaman had been – a leper.

By nature, we all have a bit of Gehazi in us.

We have leprous hearts that beat

For the stuff of this world

Rather than for our Savior.

On the outside, Gehazi looked quite good to the watching world.  He was a servant of the great prophet Elisha, which brought Gehazi close to God and God’s Word continually.  He was immersed in an environment of spiritual and eternal things.  But his leprous heart was beating for that which was temporal, and eventually . . .

What he loved most

Rose to the surface of his life.

It always does!

What has your heart been beating for lately?  Things above or things below?  What have you been running after?  Do not be deceived as Gehazi was and think all is well inwardly simply because of your outward environment.  As a servant of the prophet Elisha, Gehazi was close to God outwardly, but deep inside, his heart was far from God.

Remember, it is not your religion – rooted in your church attendance, prayer life, daily devotions, and service to God – that guards you from a leprous heart.

It is always and in every way

Your right relationship with your Redeemer,

Because the ultimate reward in

Both life and death is Jesus.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

Woman looking with binoculars, DOF  What “prize” have you been looking for lately?  How are you spending your discretionary time and money?  It has been rightly observed that our checkbooks and our free time reveals a great deal about what we value most in life.

The Bible gives us the formula for keeping our eyes on the only prize that matters in life.  The Bible says in Philippians 3:13-15, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”

Let’s briefly unpack the Bible’s formula for keeping our eyes fixed on the prize that should be the object of our greatest affection.

  1. Forgetting what lies behind . . .

On the surface this seems to contradict what God says in other portions of Scripture when He says, “Remember . . . !”  So what does God mean here?

Paul is not telling us to forget the past.

He is telling us not to live in the past.

We are to treat the past like a school and take the lessons God would have us learn into our promised future.

Paul is not minimizing a painful past.  At some level, this is the reality for all of us simply because we are broken people living in a broken world with other broken people.  Yet . . .

God calls us to move beyond our past,

Regardless of the pain,

Aand enter into our promised future

By living fully in His power

And provision in the present.

You will remember that the Bible teaches that Paul’s painful past was marked by his participation in intense persecution of the church; had Paul focused on his past, he would have become a prisoner to it, rather than the man God called to pen most of the New Testament.

  1. Straining forward . . . press on toward the goal . . .

Forward motion in life is difficult.  God made that clear to Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden of Eden.  Life would be difficult, filled with trouble, trials, and tribulations.

The Bible says in Genesis 3:16-19, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.  Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”  And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

  1. The prize . . .

Paul says in spite of our sin and struggles, there is a promised prize that is to be our motivation for moving forward, and it is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  In other words, Paul is pressing on into the truth of John 10:10 –

The abundant life in Jesus Christ.

God had already saved Paul

And called him to be His own.

Now Paul desires,

More than anything else,

The deepest experience

Of his salvation and union with Christ.

So his life is marked by fixing his eyes on the prize . . . Jesus Christ.

Paul closes out this section of Scripture by identifying those who live this kind of life:

He calls them “mature.”

  • Those who are mature do not prize possessions.
  • Those who are mature do not prize prosperity.
  • Those who are mature do not prize prestige.
  • Those who are mature do not prize pleasure.
  • Those who are mature prize only one thing: the Prince of Peace.

They organize their lives around the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus rules their hearts and ultimately shapes their lives;

They awake every morning thinking about Jesus.  They go throughout their day thinking about Jesus.  They retire in the evening thinking about Jesus.

Like Paul, they believe that to live is Christ!

Is this the confession of your life?  What has God been revealing to you lately?  Are you one of those who Paul identifies as “mature?”  Fix your eyes on the only prize that matters – in both life and death – and you will be.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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The Keeper of the Gate

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

13Nov  The Bible says in Revelations 3:7, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy; He who is true,; He who had the key of David; He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.’”

Our God is the keeper of the gate into glory.  It is God who holds the key that unlocks the door leading to eternal life, and it is God who locks it behind us, keeping all who have entered eternally safe.  This is the words of encouragement and comfort not only given to church in Philadelphia about God’s sovereign power and purpose.  It is also a great word to believers today.

Here some incredible implications of this verse:

Salvation is rooted in . . .

  • God’s mercy – not our merit
  • God’s grace – not our good works
  • God’s good pleasure – not our posturing

The gate that allows access into eternal life is opened by God and God alone . . .

  • He is the one who extends His invitation;
  • He is the one who offers His mercy;
  • He is the one who pours out His grace on His adopted children.

When we receive God’s offer of salvation, by grace through faith, we can be assured that our home in heaven is irrevocably secured (Romans 11:29).

In addition . . .

The same gate that allows access into eternal life is closed and secured by God too.

What this means is that eternal life is assured and judgment is certain.  

You see, today is a day of invitation

For all those who stand outside the gate.

God in Christ has extended His invitation to everyone who will trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.  The promise is eternal life for those who will abandon their self-salvation projects and transfer their trust to the Savior.  Jesus calls to all who will hear: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

The frightening flip side of this truth, however, is this:

Tomorrow may not be a day of invitation,

Because tomorrow may be that day

When we breathe our last and

The gate leading to eternal life

Is shut forever.

So, if you have acknowledged yourself to be a sinner in need of a Savior and have transferred your trust to Jesus Christ, rejoice!  Know that a banquet is being prepared for you this day; and one day soon you will be sitting at table with Jesus Christ.

To know that your salvation is secure is to know that there is nothing in the entire universe that can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39) – not your sins in the past . . . nor your sins in the future . . . not Satan . . . nothing!  The door that was opened for you by your Savior has also been closed and locked behind you.  You couldn’t turn around and walk back out again even if you wanted to!  You are held securely and eternally in the hand of your Savior (John 10:28).

Does that truth not

Fill you with unimaginable strength

For the day ahead?

If Jesus has the ultimate authority as the keeper of the gate, He is absolutely sovereign over every detail of your life.  Nothing happens to you that doesn’t first pass through His nail-scarred hands.  And everything that happens to you, no matter how wonderful or dreadful it may seem in the moment, is taking place for two reasons:

God’s glory

And

Your eternal good.

Christian, you are held securely by the Keeper of the gate . . . you have His word on it!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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The Weakness of Strengths

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

9Nov  We have a tendency to defend ourselves against the attacks of the evil one where we are the weakest.  But experience has taught me that Satan often attacks where we are seemingly the strongest. Today’s blog is designed to be both a comfort and a caution to you as you go throughout your day.

In John 13:37, the Bible records Peter asking, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”  In this verse we read of Peter’s sold-out commitment to his Savior.  Peter was confident in his commitment to Christ, but, ultimately, Peter’s confidence was in himself.  Peter was boasting of his own strength, and this is exactly where the devil found his foothold.

Peter was unaware of the weakness of his strengths.

We must all remember that the enemy’s attacks will come, not only at our weak points or during our low periods, but also at the areas of what we consider to be our strengths. Peter was secure in his belief that his own strength and will could withstand any attack that might come his way, and that is exactly where Satan tripped him up, exposing Peter’s true, natural condition: harassed and helpless apart from his Shepherd.

What was true for Peter is true for you and me. We have all been tripped up by the devil in places we felt the strongest.

Our strength is our weakness when, like Samson,

We trust in the gift of our strength

Rather than in the One who gave us that gift.

We must never believe that we are safe in our strengths;

We are only safe in the strength of our Savior,

Who is at work within us.

To be sure, the devil looks for chinks in our armor and launches his attacks, but we must also be ready to do battle with the evil one in areas where we believe we are fully armored.

When we find ourselves in the cross-hairs of the world, the flesh, and the devil, let us remember that we can do all things . . . but only those things in which Christ has strengthened us.  The best way to keep our strengths from becoming our weaknesses to the watching world is to keep our eye of faith fixed on Jesus, the One who has promised us victory in Him and in Him alone.

It is in His strength, nor our strength,

Where we will stand firm against

Every attack the devil sends our way.

The Bible says in James 4:7, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  Christian, remember that where we are weak, there Christ is strong.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Holy Hair Brush

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

8Nov  When was the last time you considered just how much God cares for you – I mean, really contemplated and considered God’s cosmic care for you?  Has it been a while? Well, I have a word of eternal encouragement for you today!

Jesus said in Luke 12:6-7, “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins (two pennies)?  And not one of them is forgotten by God.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

In these verses, Jesus is talking about how valuable you are to God and just how much He cares for you.  Jesus is arguing from the lesser to the greater.  If God cares for five sparrows that are sold for roughly a single hour’s pay, then how much more does God care for you – you who are made in the image of God?  Then Jesus strengthens His message of “God’s great care” for you even further by revealing that the exact number of hairs on your head are known by God.

The problem for most of us is that we have

A tendency to forget what God thinks about us

And to focus more on what others think of us.

Yet our true worth comes not from our peers and how they judge our performance; our true worth comes from God, because we are His and His care for us is out of this world – which is another way of saying that His care is beyond our comprehension.  God cares for all of His creatures and that most certainly includes you, right now, right where this finds you.

God’s care for you does not fluctuate

Based on your accomplishments, achievements, or accolades.

His care for you is fixed from eternity past.

He tells us in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

Christian, consider this biblical truth as you begin yet another day of life on this side of eternity:

There has never been a time in your life –

In fact, there has never been a time in all eternity –

When God has not cared for you and loved you with His eternal love.

You have eternally been the object of His Almighty affection.  From everlasting to everlasting, you have been on His mind, in His heart, and part of His eternal plan.  This should strengthen your resolve to rise above anything that has been trying to keep you down, knowing that the power of the One who is in you is greater than the power of the one who is in this world (1 John 4:4).

So the next time you are grooming yourself for the day ahead, consider what you are holding in your hand: a “holy hair brush,” because the Holy One knows who you are, what you need, and precisely how many hairs are left on your head after you just brushed.

Now, that is care worth contemplating . . . don’t you agree?

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Hyssop And The Need To Be Cleansed From Our Sin!

Grace For The Journey

2018BlogTheme

7Nov  One of the most beloved chapters in the Bible for many Christians is Psalm 51.  This chapter relates King David’s confession after his sinful encounter with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah.  Verse 7 contains a statement that rings somewhat strange to our 21st Century ears: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Having been confronted by the prophet Nathan, David was filled with an overwhelming godly sorrow for having sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah, all of Israel . . . but most importantly, against God.  With a broken and contrite heart David cried, “Purge me with hyssop.”

After reading this, maybe you are asking . . .

What in the world is hyssop

And

Why did David want to be purged with it?

Hyssop is a small, perennial garden herb of the mint family, with small, violet-blue or sometimes pink or white flowers.  The hyssop of the Bible (also in 1 Kings 4:33 and John 19:29) may have been a similar plant.  But . . .

Knowing about the hyssop plant

Will not provide insight

Into David’s heartfelt confession.

Knowing Old Testament history will.

David’s prayer recalls the time of the Passover, when the angel of death struck down the firstborn of Egypt while God protected His people.   The Bible describes this procedure in Exodus 12:21-33, “Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb.  Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin.  None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.  For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.’” 

David was undoubtedly remembering God’s instruction to “take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood [of the lamb].”  The bloody doorposts were a sign for the angel of death to pass over the homes containing the firstborn of Israel.  Frankly acknowledging the reality of the depravity of his own heart, David cried out to the only One who could help him – God.

David needed protection.

David needed forgiveness.

David needed cleansing.

David needed what only God can provide.

We, too, need protection, forgiveness, and cleansing; and we have it in the once-for-all shed blood of the Lamb of God.  The first Passover was but a shadow of that great Passover, when Jesus Christ would lay down His life for sinners.  Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can cry out with David, “Purge me with hyssop,” knowing that our protection is promised, our forgiveness is freely given, and our cleansing is continual.

David had the promise.

We have the Person,

And

His name is Jesus Christ.

Because of His saving blood, we are finally and fully clean from all our sin in the sight of God . . . He sees us as whiter than snow!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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