Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pay with Vows of Thanksgiving!

18I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people," (Psalm 116: 18)''

If there is one oath for any of us to keep before God, it is that we believe on His Son!

"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16: 16)

Jesus allayed the demands and concerns of the Israelites during His earthly ministry:

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 29)

So, what really can we give God? He gives us life, and all things pertaining to His life in us:

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" (2 Peter 1: 3)

and

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8: 32)

He is doing all the giving.

What is left for us to pay?

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." (Hebrews 13: 15)

Friday, May 20, 2016

We Thank Him, and Ask Him for Help

"I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD." (Psalm 116: 17)

Why do we thank God?

Because He is good to us!

"O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." (Psalm 107:1)

His grace, His goodness, is never-ending.

Thanksgiving from us is the new sacrifice that we give to God, because Jesus was the final blood sacrifice, and His blood cleanses all sin, rather than merely atoning for sin once a year:

"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;" (Hebrews 10: 12)

The blood of Jesus is--present tense--better than anything spilled from an animal:

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9: 11-14)

His Blood is perfect!

His blood cleanses us forever!

"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)

and

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2: 1-2)

Jesus is in the Helping, Saving business. Let's call upon Him in our time of need:

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4: 16)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Servitude for God: Freedom from All Bondage

"O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds." (Psalm 116: 16)

What does it mean to be a servant of the Lord?

For many, they believe that they must toil and strive, work as hard as they can to do things for God.

In fact, we have an account when one of God's most ardent followers tried to serve Him:

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Acts 10: 38-42)

Martha was too busy trying to serve God, and yet she was not serving Him.

Mary rested at His feet and received His Word.

Mary served the Lord Jesus.

As we receive the Word of God, we are set free from bondages, error, and lies:

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8: 31-32)

What is servitude to our Lord, then?

Allow Him to set you  free, and to have His life abundantly! (John 10: 10)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Death of a Saint is Rare in God's Eyes

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." (Psalm 116: 15)

Until Jesus comes again, there will be still martyrs for the Lord Jesus.

Let us not think, however, that God's grace cannot protect us.

Paul the apostle was delivered from death, from betrayal, shipwrecked, beaten, left for dead.

In spite of all the turmoil and destruction, he left this earth on his terms:


"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" (2 Timothy 4:7)

Under the Old Covenant, before the final sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, men could still die for their sins.

Guess what?

That word "precious" does not mean "dear" or "Cherished."

It means "rare."

Indeed, because of Jesus, because He is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1: 30), we can rest in His security!

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91: 1)

and

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

His righteousness protects. God is not just there to feel sorry for us or with us when we are hurt, or when our loved ones perish.

He is there to care for us, and to protect us from all manner of evil:

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10: 19)

If under the Old Covenant, Jesus could ensure protections. how much better His love and protection for us under the New?!

Indeed, we should not fear for the death of God's saints. He protects us, and the death of a saint is in fact rare in His eyes!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wherever You Are, Praise Him!

"In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD." (Psalm 116: 19)

Today, we do not have to seek out Jesus in a Temple.

For we today, each one of us who believe in Jesus, have been made  a temple, and His Holy Spirit lives in us!

God prophesied His heart's desire through Isaiah:

"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66: 1-2)

When Jesus died, then rose again, His Spirit was poured forth to all.

Peter preached on the Day of Pentencost:

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:" (Acts 2: 14-17)

And of course, Paul admonished the Corinthian church--and all believers--to see themselves in Christ, a new creation, the Temple of the Holy Spirit:

"Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?" (1 Corinthians 6: 15)

and then

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)

So, Body of Christ, praise God wherever you are!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

He Gives Us Rest, Then Victory

"Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land." (Joshua 1: 13)

Joshua received this word.

Joshua means "Savior."

Jesus is our Savior, and He is our rest:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

In the Psalms, we see how God leads us to rest:

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake" (Psalm 23: 2-3)

Many of us want to have our outer lives fulfilled and prosperous.

Yet before God our loving Father leads us into victory in our walk on this earth, He wants us to rest in the Truth of His Son, that He has put away all our sins forever!

Consider also what John wrote to his best friend Gaius:

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 2)

See the rest which Jesus has become for you.

Then you will see His victory in your life!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What We "Pay": Our Thanks

"I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people." (Psalm 116: 14)

Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice for all our sins.

What really can we give God?

He has taken care of eveything for us.

Well there is something that is available that we can do:

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." (Hebrews 13: 15)

Let us praise God for all the good things that He has given us.

And that is ... everything:

"heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1: 3-6)

Thank you, Jesus, for all that you are, that you have, and that you have given to us!